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Current News & Issues
LEGISLATORS APPROVE ‘SECOND CHANCE,’ BODY CAMERA BILLS
The Connecticut House and Senate voted to adopt two major criminal justice bills intended to increase police accountability, end racially disparate sentencing and lower incarceration rates for non-violent crimes. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's so-called "Second Chance Society" measure, which lowers penalties for drug possession and streamlines the process for paroles and pardons and An Act Concerning Excessive Use of Force, the formal name of the body-camera bill, was the General Assembly’s response to local concerns and national controversies in Baltimore; Ferguson, Mo.; and North Charleston, S.C., about police accountability, primarily in law enforcement’s dealing with minorities. READ MORE
CAR TAX SAVINGS HEADED FOR WEST HARTFORD RESIDENTS
West Hartford tax payers can expect to save hundreds of dollars in the coming years because of a new state law which will implement a statewide mill rate cap of 32 mills in 2016, and 29.36 mills in 2017. This same law will also ensure that West Hartford does not lose any revenue due to the change in the amount of car taxes collected by pledging 0.50% of the annual State sales tax to the towns in our State.
STATE TAKES A STEP TOWARD THREE NEW CASINOS
A push to add three new casinos in Connecticut took a step forward with the approval of the legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee. The proposal now under consideration would see a partnership between the two Connecticut based Native American tribes build a gaming facility outside the reservation.
BILLS SEEK COVERAGE FOR STRESS DISORDERS
State lawmakers are again debating whether workers’ compensation should be expanded to cover mental trauma for certain employees who witness intentional maimings and killings on the job. The Public Safety and Security Committee voted 23-2 recently to advance a Senate bill to cover police, firefighters and emergency medical workers. A state-licensed psychiatrist or psychologist would determine that a worker suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from personally viewing a traumatic event or its aftermath within six hours after law enforcement secures the scene. READ MORE
LEGISLATORS HEAR ARGUMENTS ON RESIDENT TROOPER COSTS
A public hearing on a proposal to lower towns’ share of overtime costs for resident troopers quickly turned into pleas for lawmakers not to follow the governor’s proposed budget to increase their costs and a discussion of how small towns could provide police services. The Public Safety and Security Committee is considering a bill that would reduce a town’s share of overtime costs for resident troopers, although the bill doesn’t specify by how much. READ MORE
The General Assembly’s Public Safety and Security Committee Convened a Public Hearing in West Hartford. State Representative Verrengia Chaired that Meeting, Welcoming State Government into his District.