While the major focus of the past two legislative sessions has been job creation and balancing the state budget, there are a number of public policy initiatives that were passed which will improve the quality of life for all Connecticut residents.
A complete list of new laws taking effect tomorrow can be found here:
Among the new laws taking effect are:
- AN ACT CONCERNING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
This comprehensive new law gives victims of domestic violence greater support from the courts, victim services and victim advocates, and law enforcement agencies by (among other means) specifying additional family violence crimes, court procedures, and victim protections; giving crime victims and victim advocates access to more information; and requiring police departments to adopt model family violence policies. The new law also requires the state to study the cost, feasibility, and public safety considerations of redesigning the statewide Enhanced 9-1-1 system to allow individuals and emergency responders to communicate by text message or other mobile device.
- AN ACT INCREASING THE PENALTY FOR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
This new law increases the penalty for subsequent convictions of specific types of animal cruelty, from a maximum of one year in prison to a maximum of five years, and increases the fine from a maximum of $1,000 to a maximum of $5,000. Cruel acts are defined as including (but not limited to): fighting animals; torturing, mutilating or beating animals; exposing an animal to a poisonous or noxious drug or substance; or failing to provide proper food, water or shelter.
- AN ACT CONCERNING PET SHOPS AND CONSUMER REIMBURSEMENT FOR CERTAIN VETERINARY EXPENSES
This new law allows pet shop customers to either seek reimbursement for certain veterinarian expenses for a dog or cat that suffers from an illness or a congenital defect shortly after purchase, or request a replacement or refund for the animal. The new law prohibits pet shops from requiring the consumer to return the animal in order to receive a reimbursement. It also requires certain pet shops to give customers a copy of the state’s ‘pet lemon law’ when they buy a dog or cat.