A number of new laws, that my colleagues and I worked on during the 2023 legislative session to implement meaningful change in our state, will take effect in Connecticut on July 1.
Connecticut was one the few states in the country that did not allow early voting that provides voters with options to accommodate busy and hectic schedules. Effective July 1, voters will have 14 days of early voting for general elections, seven days of early voting for most primaries, and four days of early voting for special elections and presidential preference primaries.
VOTING RIGHTS ACT
Our state has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. This new law prohibits intimidation, deception, or obstruction related to voting and allows aggrieved parties to seek remedies in court.
DEBT-FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE ELIGIBILITY CHANGES
The law extends eligibility for the state’s debt-free community college program to returning students by removing requirements that a qualifying student must be a first-time enrollee at a community-technical college. Awards must be applied during a student’s first 48 consecutive months, thus allowing returning students to receive the award if they meet all other eligibility requirements.
Under the law, $3,200 would be placed in a trust on behalf of each baby born into HUSKY, the state’s Medicaid program. Those investments would grow over time and recipients could access that money between the ages of 18-30.
ENDOMETRIOSIS DATA AND BIOREPOSITORY PROGRAM
Endometriosis is an underdiagnosed condition when endometrial-like tissue grows outside the uterus with nearby reproductive organs often affected. The law requires UConn Health Center to develop an endometriosis data and biorepository program to enable and promote research on early detection and ways to manage the condition in adolescents and adults.
Certain public agencies will start providing free menstrual products including public colleges and universities, homeless and domestic violence shelters that receive state aid.
Your calls, emails, and testimony at public hearings during this year's legislative session had a direct influence on these new laws. Thank you for your input, and please continue expressing your views and making your voice heard during our legislative process.