Bills Passed During Thursday's SessionJune 4, 2021
The House of Representatives sent a bill to the Governor’s desk that takes steps to address online harassment.
Incidents of stalking, harassment, bias and hate have increased with the use of technology and SB 989 takes that into consideration. This bill includes several provisions aimed at combatting online harassment including:
- Expanding what constitutes second degree stalking and second-degree harassment
- Expanding 1st degree stalking to include situations in which a person intentionally directs the conduct another person based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability,
- Allowing individuals to bring a civil action against their harassers for disclosing personally identifiable information.
One in four Americans have experienced online hate and harassment and the targets are often individuals from marginalized communities. Loved ones of those killed in mass shootings, including the parents of those children killed in the Sandy Hook attack, have also been subjected to online harassment.
I was proud to stand with my colleagues to pass this vital piece of legislation to curb the rise in online harassment and empower victims.
Hate, whatever form it takes, has no place in our state.
The House passed several additional pieces of legislation. Below is a summary of the bills:
Many of the privileges we enjoy at home are denied to Connecticut's long-term care facility residents. Just passed by the House, SB 975 strengthens the nursing home patients' bill of rights so residents may treat their living space as their home, protecting their rights to privacy, health, and safety. Every resident deserves the safety and security of a home-like environment.
Sewage spills can harm our waterways and contaminate public drinking water or swimming areas. SB 927 would establish a system enabling Connecticut residents to be notified of sewage spills. Residents should have the right to know when there's a public health risk.
With recent and proposed changes to the state's waste management, Connecticut's recycling program is ready for reform. Commonly known as the "bottle bill," SB 1037 will make changes to increase the redemption and recycling rates for bottles and cans to save our communities money and protect our environment. It will also invest in redemption centers to make recycling more convenient and viable.
Pulse oximeters are valuable tools that can help diagnose conditions like asthma, lung cancer, and others. However, they are 3 times more likely produce inaccurate readings when used on individuals with darker skin. Just passed by the House, SB 1008 would inform health care providers, pharmacies, insurers, and others that these devices can be inaccurate when used on people of color. It also prohibits insurers from denying benefits coverage based on blood oxygen levels measured by a pulse oximeter. By bringing attention to this weakness, we can help improve health outcomes and care.
One in four Americans have experienced online hate and harassment, but Connecticut’s statutes regarding stalking and harassment have not kept pace with technology. SB 989 will update Connecticut's laws to combat online harassment and protect those subject to it.
From schools to jobs to meetings, most of our lives moved online over the last year – exposing the extreme inequities in broadband access and the need to bridge the digital divide. HB 6442 will work to address these inequities and provide reliable broadband access across our state.
The opioid epidemic has devastated our state. HB 5597 would help combat this epidemic by creating a task force to study the response protocols used by emergency responders and medical personnel following an opioid overdose death. It also requires the state Department of Public Health Commissioner to develop guidelines for the use of non-pharmaceutical methods of treating chronic pain and conduct community outreach to raise awareness. This bill could save lives and address the stigma of opioid use disorder.
Crumbling Foundation Update
Great news! Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Company (CFSIC) has received $10,580,617 to support families with crumbling foundations and is swiftly processing pending claims for families that have been waiting since March from 2020.
If you're worried about a crumbling foundation in your home, please visit the CFSIC website.