Beneficial Legislation Passes House

May 11, 2017

I am pleased to announce that two bills I have co-sponsored have unanimously passed the House of Representatives Wednesday.

House Bill 7299, An Act Concerning Strengthening the Laws Concerning Domestic Violence, will change various laws concerning crimes against an individual.

This bill aims to strengthen Connecticut’s anti-stalking laws and further protects those who feel they are being emotionally abused or attacked. The ultimate goal for this bill is to ensure the safety of the victims of intimate partner violence and make sure those who are committing these crimes are held responsible for their actions.

The bill:

  1. expands the conduct that constitutes stalking to include conduct that causes substantial “emotional distress;”
     
  2. specifies that electronic or social media are among the methods, devices, or means by which conduct that constitutes stalking may occur;
     
  3. broadens the strangulation statutes to include suffocation when a person obstructs another person's nose or mouth;
     
  4. increases the penalty for violations of release conditions when the violation involves certain conduct; and
     
  5. requires a presentence investigation for anyone convicted of a family violence crime for which a prison sentence may be imposed and prohibits them from waiving the investigation.

Currently, Connecticut’s existing statutes require police to find probable cause that the victim fears their safety following a defined course of conduct.

Rep. Gentile also applauds the unanimous House passage of HB 7105, An Act Concerning Water Company Rate Adjustment Mechanisms.

The bill:

  • expands and realigns the timeframe used to determine when a public utility's excessive return on equity requires PURA to determine the need for an interim rate decrease.

  • requires PURA to make such a determination if the public utility has excessive return on equity for the rolling 12-month period ending with the two most recent consecutive financial quarters, rather than a period of six consecutive months. This bill would ultimately protect customers by ensuring that the water company does not overcharge them.