New State Laws Taking Effect October 1

Dozens of bills passed during this year’s legislative session take effect Saturday.

Phony school threats were one issue addressed by legislators this year.

“This is becoming such a big problem. You’ve seen school systems shut their entire school systems down for days,” said Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley.

Now those found guilty of making a threat intended to cause a school evacuation during school hours could go to prison for up to ten years. Pardons can be granted to those under 18, but police said these threats often come from overseas and are intended to cause fear in the school system.

State Senator Tony Hwang was a champion for tougher punishments.

“This is not a practical joke. It is not funny. The implications and traumas that you cause in these kinds of threats are so devastating.”

Minors suffering from certain illnesses will also have access to prescription medical marijuana. The president of the Connecticut Epilepsy Advocate says the cannabis oil is often the final option for some young patients.

Patients under 18 can register if they have conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis, irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, severe epilepsy, a terminal illness requiring end-of-life care or uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder.

The Connecticut Humane Society hopes a pair of laws focused on our four-legged friends will make it easier to prosecute animal abusers.

“We’ve looked at the success rate of prosecution in the state of CT and it is not very good,” said Gordon Willard, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Humane Society.

Law students will serve as animal advocates in court cases and the penalty for repeat offenders will be bumped up to ten years in prison.

Other new laws that take effect on Saturday are tougher penalties for ATV drivers operating illegally and more access to experimental drugs for terminally ill patients.

For a full list of the new laws and details on each of them, visit the Connecticut General Assembly website.

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