Dozens of new laws hitting the books Oct. 1
HARTFORD — The first day of October means a bevy of new laws. The state will see some tweaks to existing laws but also see many laws in the books.
POLICE BODY CAMERAS
One of the biggest is one we’ve been talking about for a while, police body cameras. The new law helps local municipalities fund the equipment for one year and also requires state police and university police to wear body cameras.
Governor Malloy will hold a bill signing ceremony on this landmark legislation that also encourages police minority hiring and establishes standards for investigating officer-related shootings. The ceremony is happening at 10:30 a.m. at the Connecticut State Police Academy in Meriden.
Employees concerned about their employers asking them to hand over their Facebook and Twitter login and password will now have protections. Employees have a right to say no and in doing so they won’t be punished for refusing to hand it over.
A decade old ban on smoking in public places has now expanded to include e-cigarettes. E-cig users can no longer smoke in bars and restaurants.
There are now more standards for farmers market vendors. The “Connecticut Grown” law cracks down on vendors who label produce as local when it’s not. The fine goes up from $25 to $100. The new law also mandates that farmers who grow in the state must post a sign at the market with the name and location of the farm.
Connecticut is now the third state to enact a laboratory animal protection bill, also known as the “Beagle Freedom Bill.” This groundbreaking legislation mandates that testing laboratories must offer healthy dogs and cats for public adoption through charitable rescue groups instead of euthanizing them.
The state joins the ranks of others in making it easier for transgender people to change their birth certificate. The new law allows them to change their gender on the certificate without having had surgery.
In the summer of 2014 Greenwich teen, Emily Fedorko died after she fell off her tube and the boat operator turned around to pick her up, striking her with the propeller. This law improves boat safety by establishing a minimum ago of 16 for anyone towing a water skier or tuber.
VARIABLE RATE BAN
After receiving thousands of complaints by electric customers who saw their bill skyrocket through variable rates. The state now becomes the first in the nation to ban variable rate electric contracts.