New laws effective Jan. 1, 2017

December 30, 2016

Much of the legislation the General Assembly passed in 2016 went into effect during the summer, but there were some laws that became effective Jan. 1, 2017. Here's a look at some of those laws.

Health Insurance Coverage for 3-D Mammograms - Public Act 16-82

Health insurers will now have to cover tomosynthesis, or three-dimensional mammography, if requested by a patient. Compared to 2-D mammograms, 3-D mammography can provide doctors with a more accurate image to diagnose breast cancers. The procedure has also been found to reduce false positives.

Fair Chance Employment -  Public Act 16-83

Most employers will no longer be allowed to ask about a prospective employee’s prior arrests or convictions on an initial employment application. Employers may still ask about an applicant's criminal record later in the process, but this simple change will prevent employers from dismissing anyone with a criminal record outright.

Minimum Wage Increase - Public Act 14-1

The minimum wage will increase from $9.60 to $10.10 an hour, the final increase included in legislation passed in 2014. This increase will help more working families gain financial independence.

Preventing Opioid Overdose - Public Act 16-43

Health insurers will no longer be allowed to require prior authorization for coverage of Narcan, a drug that reverses opioid overdose. Those struggling with opioid abuse and their families need easy access to this life-saving drug. This is one piece of the groundbreaking legislation we passed this year to combat the opioid epidemic.

Updating the Disability Access Symbol - Public Act 16-78

This law updates the current symbol denoting access for people with disabilities (the symbol you see in handicapped parking spots). The new symbol will be used in any new buildings or structures and is described as "a logo with a dynamic character leaning forward with a sense of movement". The symbol is intended to reflect the active lives that people with disabilities lead.

I'm proud of the leadership Connecticut has shown in these areas, and we will be working hard in 2017 to continue moving our state forward. You can find a full list of legislation taking effect on January 1 here.