Connecticut laws

Several New CT Laws Now in Effect

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New laws are now in effect from paid family and medical leave to eliminating religious exemptions for mandated vaccines.

“Every one of these laws is going to affect somebody in a very serious way, and some of them are going to have very broad effects,” said Quinnipiac University Law Professor William Dunlap.

One law now in effect requires pharmacists in certain emergency situations to give a patient up to a 30-day supply of certain diabetes-related drugs and devices. It also limits how much pharmacists can charge in those situations. And it requires some health insurance policies to expand coverage for diabetes screenings and products, limit out-of-pocket costs, and cover that emergency situation.

A lot changed in the last year when it comes to the legalization of recreational cannabis. Later in 2022, retail sale is set to begin.

Starting in July, the law will also allow people with certain cannabis-related convictions during a certain time period to file a court petition for it to be erased. In 2023, there’s an automatic erasure for convictions during a certain time period for possessing less than four ounces of cannabis.

Dunlap says the most controversial law to come out of the year regards religious exemptions.

“Eliminating exemption now means more children in the schools will be vaccinated for diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, pertussis, and rubella, among other diseases,” said Dunlap.

Immunization requirements do not include the COVID-19 vaccine.

Religious exemptions will no longer be accepted for immunization requirements for people attending public or private schools and child care centers and group homes. It does grandfather in kids who enrolled in kindergarten or a higher grade and submitted a religious exemption prior to April 28, 2021.

“I think this is undoubtedly going to wind up in court because, as I mentioned, it is extremely controversial. But I don’t see where there are any constitutional problems with this particular law,” said Dunlap.

Another law now in effect involves something almost all of us contributed to this year.

“This might be the one that affects the most people immediately. As of January 1st, most employees in the state are going to see their family leave and medical leave benefits improve dramatically,” said Dunlap.

Up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave insurance will be provided over a 12-month period. And there’s an additional two weeks for a “serious health condition that results in incapacitation during pregnancy.”

“For the workers’ point of view, this has been improved on just about every level,” said Dunlap.

The use of force law was delayed to the beginning of 2022. It limits the situations where deadly force is justified and limits when officers can use chokeholds. Other laws prohibit law enforcement from using no-knock warrants and prohibits former police officers decertified in other states from being licensed as security guards and other related jobs.

A new parentage act will, among other things, give equal treatment under the law for children born to same-sex couples. And it expands recognition of non-biological parents.

“When there are pregnancies that were achieved through surrogacy or other forms of assisted reproductions, legal issues frequently arise as to exactly who should be regarded as the parent, where the parent’s rights lie. So the law also tries to clarify the rights of nonbiological parents and the rights of surrogates who actually bear the child,” said Dunlap.

If you have property with a single-family home, there’s a law going into effect that allows the building of a separate unit, like an in-law suite, without a special permit or public hearing. But municipalities can opt out. For more information on the new laws, see the list here.

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