First day of 2019 brought new laws to Connecticut

HARTFORD — It’s a new year, filled with new laws. A handful of laws that passed last legislative session, went into effect January 1st. Some of the laws are just procedural changes to language but others will have an impact on your quality of life and your wallet.

2019 will bring a new administration, new democratic majorities, a new legislative session and more new laws.

You’ll see a $12 surcharge added to your homeowners insurance policy. It goes to a fund to help homeowners with crumbling foundations. “The amount of money. The hundreds of thousands of dollars that some of these people have to pay, it’s needed. $12 wont hurt me,” remarked Maryanne Midura of Hartford.

In a law aimed at pay equity for men and women, employers can’t ask you what you make anymore during a job interview. Julio Santiago of Hartford said, “There are a lot of females who are very strong and can do what a male can do. So in my opinion they shouldn’t ask what was your previous pay. They should just look at your resume and tell you he’s doing a very good job. He has this experience we should pay him this much.”

Several new laws target women’s health. Your health insurance is now required to cover prosthetics and mammograms. Hartford’s Tonya Fuentes said, “Definitely, yes. I will vote for that all the way. Especially if you have family members who have breast cancer. For example my mom is a survivor.” And pregnancy now triggers a ‘life event’ — allowing women to sign up for health insurance through their employer right away. “You should do it now. If you are pregnant you should get the insurance benefits and not wait,” said Jennifer Carrer of Hartford.

The Essential Health Benefits Act codifies protections of the Affordable Care Act into state law, protecting it from federal legislation. And college grads with a degree in a STEM field can now get a $500 tax credit for 5 years after they graduate. “That’s a good thing but I think they should raise it up a little more. Another $500 to about $1,000,” said Julio Santiago of Hartford.

Fox 61 wants to know what you think lawmakers should tackle in 2019. Use the format: Dear Lawmakers, do something about ______ and fill in your topic, name and where you are from.

You can email it to us at Share61@fox61.com or send us a video or use the hashtag #Share61 on social media. We will raise your concerns with lawmakers later this month.

A few other new laws that just took affect include police now having to try and identify who the primary instigator was in a domestic violence situation. And candidates running for statewide office can now accept contributions up to up to $250 from each citizen.

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