New Laws Going into Effect Today

July 1, 2021

Over 100 new laws in Connecticut go into effect TODAY. These laws mark the tireless work put in by my colleagues and I over the past few months. We all worked hard to listen to your concerns in order to advocate for you in Hartford.
This year, our efforts focused heavily on responding to COVID-19 and measures centered upon equity. Many of the bills passed during the 2021 Legislative Session work to address the disparate impacts COVID-19 has had on our communities while also addressing numerous archaic laws and practices in an equitable way to better Connecticut.

Here are just a few of the laws and provisions taking effect today:
Inclusion of Black and Latino Studies in Public School Curriculum:
  • HB 7082 – Passed in 2019 – requires public school curriculum to include Black and Latino studies to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of history.
  • Under the act, boards must offer the course in the 2022-23 school year, but they may do so in the upcoming 2021-22 school year.
  • The State Board of Education (SDE) will conduct an annual audit to ensure that the required courses are being offered and report their findings to the Education Committee.

Access to Birth Certificates:

  • HB 6105 – Passed in 2021 – takes steps to allow adoptees 18 and older to understand the history of their biological families by allowing them access to their birth certificates.

Ice Cream Truck Safety:

  • SB 608 – Passed in 2021 – protects children who are buying ice cream from an ice cream truck
  • The law requires these ice cream trucks to increase their visibility to other drivers, , including flashing red lights and a stop signal arm.
  • This will also establish limitations and conditions as to where ice cream trucks will be available to kids in order to optimize their safety.
  • Starting today, ice cream trucks will be prohibited from dispensing ice cream to a child coming from the opposite side of the road unless they have an adult present to assist them in crossing the road.

Legalizing Sports Betting:

  • HB 6451 – Passed in 2021 – allows for the Governor to amend agreements with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe in order to modernize and expand gaming in Connecticut. The agreement between the State and the tribes still needs to be approved by the U.S. Department of Interior.
  • States across the country have already made critically needed expansions to their gaming industry by investing in new online technology, and this law allows our State to keep up with these developing efforts.
  • This law will generate additional revenue for the Connecticut’s General Fund.

Legalizing Adult-Use of Recreational Cannabis:

  • SB 1201 – Passed in 2021 – is a multi-part bill that will take effect in annual increments with the first portion taking effect today. The breakdown is as follows:
    • Possession: Possession of cannabis for recreational use will be legal in Connecticut for adults age 21 and over beginning July 1, 2021. Adults cannot have more than 1.5 ounces of cannabis on their person, and no more than 5 ounces in their homes or locked in their car truck or glove box.
    • Retail sales: Retail sales of cannabis are projected to begin in Connecticut by the end of 2022. The sale, manufacture, and cultivation of cannabis for commercial purposes requires a license from the state.
    • Homegrown: Patients who are participating in Connecticut’s medical marijuana program will be permitted to cultivate up to six cannabis plants (three mature, three immature) in their homes beginning October 1, 2021. All adults age 21 and over will be permitted to grow a similar number of plants indoors within their homes beginning July 1, 2023.
  • The bill erases convictions related to possession of less than 4 oz. of marijuana, for offenses occurring between 2015 – 2021 and erases convictions related to possession of any amount of marijuana for offenses occurring between 2000-2015.
  • The majority of revenue from cannabis sales will be utilized to establish an Equity Fund.
    • The Equity Fund will help Connecticut right the wrongs of the War on Drugs by initiating criminal justice reforms while creating economic opportunities for communities disproportionately affected by this divisive tactic.

These are just a few of the laws and provisions going into effect today. The full list of laws taking effect can be accessed by clicking the buttons below.

Laws Taking Effect Today
You can also find a full list of bills from the 2021 Legislative session which were effective upon passage.
Laws Effective from Passage
Although these laws are a compilation of this year's accomplishments in the legislature, you always have the opportunity to make your voice heard. Please make sure to stay active in the legislative processes and let me know what you would like to see in both our community and throughout Connecticut.
Plastic Bag Reminder

The second and final stage of Connecticut’s single-use plastic bag law that passed in 2019 will also take effect today. The first phase of this bill initiated a 10-cent charge for plastic bags back in August 2019.

Beginning today, you will not be able to get a plastic bag at grocery store check outs—however, paper bags will still be available for a fee. Connecticut residents are of course to continue to use and bring their reusable bags (also sold in stores).