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A Look Back on the Connecticut Laws That Took Effect in 2022

Dozens of state laws that spanned issues involving paid family leave, school air quality, religious vaccine exemptions and the Juneteenth holiday took effect this past year. Here’s a look at some of the major changes.

(TNS) — In the months leading up to the November 2022 election, Connecticut became a safe haven for Americans seeking abortions, the third state to pass a captive audience law and a supporter for legal recreational marijuana users. Here are some of the dozens of state laws that took effect throughout the year.

Effective Beginning Jan. 1, 2022

Paid family and medical leave benefits

Connecticut employees are now eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave Insurance benefits over a 12-month period and two additional weeks for a serious health condition that "results in incapacitation during pregnancy." This is an increase from the current 16 weeks of leave offered in a 24-month time frame.

Expanding parental rights

The Connecticut Parentage Act provides equal treatment for children born under same-sex couples. It also ensures equal access to legal parentage rights for children with unmarried or non biological parents.

Use of force by police officers

The legislative changes limited the instances in which a police officer's use of deadly force is considered "justified" when making an arrest or preventing an escape. The new law also established factors to evaluate whether the officer's force was reasonable and whether the conduct led to an increased risk before using force.

Accessory apartments

Accessory apartments are now legal to build and rent to family or other tenants in residential areas. It also prevents municipal zoning regulations from establishing minimum floor area requirements that exceed proper safety codes and aims to prevent overcrowding.

July 1, 2022:

Minimum wage increase

The minimum wage in Connecticut increased from $13 to $14 an hour. Connecticut passed legislation in 2019 that will boost the minimum wage from $10.10 beginning 2019 to up to $15 an hour in July 2023.

Abortion safe harbor law

Connecticut strengthened its current abortion protection laws just as the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade came down. The law provides "safe harbor" to women from other states who get abortions in Connecticut and to the clinicians that perform them.

The legislation officially authorized advanced practice registered nurses, nurse midwives and physician assistants to perform aspiration abortions, the most common method of in-clinic abortions.

Police body and dashboard cameras

The section of the Police Accountability Act requires that all law enforcement agencies have body cameras and dashboard cameras. It also prohibits officers from altering or distributing footage or data except when required by certain laws.

Expanding mental health workforce in schools

Under the act, the Connecticut Department of Education will provide grants to local boards of education to hire and retain school mental health specialists over the next three years.

Captive audience meetings

The new law protects employees if they refuse to attend employer-sponsored meetings intended to portray the employer's opinion on political and religious matters, including support of labor unions. Employers can still make meetings mandatory when related to job performance. Connecticut also required employers to tell new employees of their state Family and Medical Leave Act benefits when they're hired.

Catalytic converters

To address the increase in catalytic converter thefts, Connecticut established new rules for businesses that purchase these parts, such as banning motor vehicle recyclers from accepting converters that are not attached to a car.

Isolated confinement

The new law prevents the Department of Correction from placing minors in solitary confinement and requires that any use of solitary confinement maintain the least restrictive environment for all individuals involved. It also codified Gov. Ned Lamont's executive order to limit the number of days in isolated confinement to 15 consecutive days or 30 total days within a 60-day period.

School air quality

To help improve school air quality, the law requires local school officials to inspect HVAC systems in each public school every five years. Connecticut towns and cities are also eligible for part of $150 million in grants through the Department of Administrative Services.

Diesel tax to increase

The state increased the diesel fuel tax from 40.1 to 49.2 cents per gallon, a 23 percent jump. The move came after a year in which wholesale fuel prices more than doubled.

Criminal records erased

Starting July 1, 2022, individuals can petition the court to have simple possession charges of four ounces or less erased. The charges must have occurred before Jan. 1, 2000 or from Oct. 1, 2015 through June 30, 2021. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, the state will automatically erase these records for individuals with the same charges between Jan. 1, 200 to Sept. 30, 2015.

The opening of recreational marijuana stores was set for later in 2022, but it will likely be delayed until 2023.

Protection for employees using recreational marijuana off-duty

The law prohibits many employers from disciplining employees or denying an applicant employment for off-duty recreational marijuana use. Employers can still implement a policy restricting off-duty marijuana use by current employees but must make the policy available to a prospective employee in the job offer.

Religious vaccine exemption

Starting Sept. 1, 2022, children in pre-K, day care or those new to the school system are no longer allowed to claim religious exemption from mandatory school vaccines. Children already enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade can remain exempt.

Oct 1, 2022:

Juvenile crime and firearm background checks

Under Public Act 22-115, the law requires that a juvenile must be brought before a judge within five days of their arrest. The changes also allow the court to order electronic monitoring if a child was charged with a second motor vehicle or property damage arrest.

The law also requires the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to notify the local police chief if the buyer or transferee of a gun fails a background check. Before purchasing or transferring a handgun, the person must fill out an application with the department, which includes the department conducting a national instant criminal background check.

Police Accountability

Under the act, law enforcement officers must notify a deceased person's next of kin about the death within 24 hours of identification. The Connecticut General Assembly passed the law following an investigation in which Bridgeport police didn't notify next of kin of two women who died in December 2021.

Online Dating Safety

The law requires online dating operators to give Connecticut users safety awareness notifications before allowing them to use the platforms.

Animal Welfare

Dogs must be provided adequate shelter when outdoors for more than 15 minutes during National Weather Service extreme heat or cold advisories, if the animal's health and safety is jeopardized. Shelters must allow dogs to maintain their normal body temperatures. The law also prohibits tethering a dog without drinking water at least twice every 24 hours.


Signed in May 2022, the act established June 19, known as Juneteenth Independence Day, Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, as a legal state holiday as well as bank and credit union holidays. The first Juneteenth to be recognized in this way will be June 19, 2023.

Chief State's Attorney

The Criminal Justice Commission is now allowed to reprimand and suspend, not just remove, the chief state's attorney. The act also prohibits the chief state's attorney, deputy chief state's attorneys and state's attorneys from being an elected officer of the state or any political subdivision. Under the new law, full-time assistant state's attorneys and deputy assistant state's attorneys cannot be elected as a state officer.

(c)2022 The News-Times (Danbury, Conn.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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