Highlighting A Few New State Laws Taking Effect
If new state laws taking effect October 1 were represented by those single bite candies dispensed to trick or treaters on Halloween, Connecticut residents would be hauling around a huge bag full of sweets.
According to correspondence The Newtown Bee received this week from the Connecticut General Assembly, citizens, businesses, communities, and government agencies will be subject to no fewer than 100 laws and public acts going into effect this Sunday.
While it would be impossible — and some may say unreadable — if we tried to preview and digest all of them for you, we believe more than a few will be of significant interest to Newtowners.
So, we’ll highlight a sampling of them below. You can also learn more about them, or if you have the time and inclination to actually review each and every one, you can do so by searching the latest roster online at cga.ct.gov (if you go to this editorial at newtownbee.com, we will provide the direct link).
Effective October 1, the General Assembly has:
*Reacted to the more recent and disturbing trend of “street takeovers” by changing and increasing penalties for those caught participating;
*Initiated dozens of new and improved resources and supports for persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities;
*Implemented more ways to pay your municipal taxes, including by a wider variety of charge cards, debit cards, and electronic payment services such as PayPal. Of course, it also allows a municipality to charge a service fee for using these payment methods, up to the service fee amount charged by the servicer or card issuer;
*Given certain rights to residents of mobile manufactured home parks and creates avenues for residents to purchase their mobile home park under select circumstances;
*Made it a misdemeanor for anyone age 25 or older to conduct specific “harmful communication” with a minor using an interactive computer service or text message. Under the act, a violation may be deemed to have been committed either at the place where the communication originated or where it was received.
*Strengthened protections against and response to acts of domestic violence by changing existing laws on family violence victim protection and related matters;
*Extended what is called “portal-to-portal” workers’ compensation coverage to telecommunicators (generally, 9-1-1 emergency dispatchers) in several situations;
*Defined when a person can use deadly physical force to kill a bear: if the person reasonably believes the bear is (1) inflicting, or about to inflict, great bodily harm to a person; (2) injuring or killing the person’s controlled pet; or (3) entering a building occupied with people;
*Permitted municipalities to completely regionalize their program-related duties around veterans’ services, and not maintain a municipal-specific office or representative;
*Expanded the options for municipalities penalizing people who litter or create or maintain blighted or unsafe conditions, including increasing the maximum daily penalties for blight from $100 to $1,000, for repeat offenders, and littering fines from $199 to $500;
*Prohibited higher education institutions in Connecticut from withholding a current or former student’s transcript from the student’s employer, prospective employer, or a US military branch because the student owes the institution a debt.
As a proud participant in Connecticut’s CEO or Civically Engaged Organizations program, we share this latest news in the public interest.