July 1 Newsletter: New Laws, Min. Wage Increase

July 6, 2022
I hope you and your family are healthy and safe. We are constantly working to provide updates and important news as it develops over social media and by email. This is a recap of some of this week’s highlights.

For more information about the state's response efforts visit ct.gov/coronavirus. To receive text message notifications, sign up for CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system. To subscribe, text "COVIDCT" to 888-777.


New Laws Effective July 1

A number of new laws that my colleagues and I worked on during the 2022 legislative session to implement meaningful change in our state take effect in Connecticut on July 1.
The list is extensive, but see below for some highlights:
Paid family leave
Starting Friday, among other provisions, the act requires employers to notify their employees at the time of hiring and every year thereafter about their entitlement to family and medical leave and family violence leave and the terms under which the leaves may be used, about the opportunity to file a benefits claim under the FMLI program. The law also prohibits employer retaliation against an employee for requesting, applying for, or using family medical leave for which an employee is eligible.

Protections for Reproductive and
Gender-Affirming Health Services

In light of the recent Supreme Court Decision on Roe v. Wade, I am pleased that Connecticut took proactive steps to ensure reproductive rights. This new law establishes protections for individuals seeking an abortion and physicians performing services. It also protects against out-of-state judgments based on reproductive or gender-affirming health care services that are legal in Connecticut, allowing these individuals to recover certain costs they incurred defending the out-of-state action and bringing an action under the new law. The law allows advanced practice registered nurses, nurse midwives, and physician assistants to provide reproductive services.
The budget established the JobsCT tax rebate program for companies in specified industries to earn rebates against insurance premiums, corporation business, and pass-through entity (PE) taxes for reaching certain job creation targets.
Indoor Air Quality in
Public Schools

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature passed several initiatives to improve schools’ indoor air quality. A grant program was created to reimburse boards of education or regional education service centers for costs associated with installing, replacing, or upgrading heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems or other air quality improvements. The budget makes $150 million available for the program ($75 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds and $75 million in general obligation bonds effective July 1). Additionally, the act requires boards of education to conduct a uniform inspection and evaluation of the HVAC system in each school building under its jurisdiction every five years and take any necessary corrective actions. It also establishes a working group to study and make recommendations related to indoor air quality within schools.
Captive Audience Meetings
A new law generally prohibits employers from penalizing employees or threatening to do so for refusing to attend employer-sponsored meetings, listen to speech, or view communications primarily intended to convey the employer’s opinion about religious or political matters, including decisions to join or support labor organizations. The law provides exceptions for, among other things, employers to communicate information required by law or that the employees need to perform their jobs.
Catalytic Converters
Several changes were made regarding the receipt and sale of catalytic converters, including prohibiting anyone other than a motor vehicle recycler or motor vehicle repair shop from selling more than one unattached converter to a scrap metal processor, junk dealer, or junk yard owner or operator in a day. The law also establishes several recordkeeping requirements and other conditions, such as affixing or writing a stock number on converters.

Isolated Confinement
This new law limits the amount of time and circumstances under which an incarcerated person may be held in isolated confinement with less than four hours per day out of a cell beginning Friday in the general population, gradually increasing to 5 hours per day on and after April 1, 2023. The law also requires that any use of isolated confinement maintain the least restrictive environment needed for the safety of incarcerated individuals, staff, and facility security and prohibits holding minors in isolated confinement. It also places new limits on its use by considering physical and mental health evaluations.

Full List of New Laws Effective July 1, 2022
Your calls, emails, and testimony at public hearings during this year's legislative session had a direct influence on these new laws. Thank you and please continue expressing your views and making your voice heard.

Free Youth Admissions to CT Museums Return this Summer

The Connecticut Summer at the Museum program is returning for the 2022 summer season. Starting Friday, July 1, all children and one accompanying adult will receive free admission to over 90 museums across Connecticut. This program will be offered through September 6th to all Connecticut children, ages 18 and under.
This is a great opportunity for parents and guardians who are looking for a family friendly activity during the hot summer months. Please click here for a complete list of participating locations.  

Minimum Wage Increasing On July 1

Back in 2019, Connecticut House Democrats made it a priority to pass legislation that focused on assisting working families by increasing the minimum wage over of several years until it reaches $15 in 2023.

Because of that vote, many Connecticut residents are due for a raise this week. The next scheduled minimum wage increase will take effect on Friday, July 1, going from $13 to $14 per hour. The minimum wage will finally increase to $15 on June 1, 2023.

The Connecticut Department of Labor and Connecticut Voices for Children estimate those increases will raise wages for more than half a million people in the state by 2024. This increase helps Connecticut residents because not only does it assist hard-working families (especially now with inflation wreaking havoc on people's wallets), but it can spur local economies by putting more money in people's pockets, which drives up spending power and makes it easier to pay household bills.

No one should be forced to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. That's why I stand in such strong support of this pay raise and the workers who will benefit from it. 


Happy Fourth of July!

Happy 4th of July weekend!

We had a great time as always at the Dutch Fogarty Independence Day Celebration last weekend!