Photo of Senator Cohen.

State Senator

Christine Cohen

Representing Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison & North Branford

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Sen. Cohen Welcomes New State Laws Taking Effect This Saturday, October 1


State Senator Christine Cohen (D-Guilford) announced today that 80 new state laws will take effect this Saturday, October 1, including enhanced suicide prevention measures, the creation of a new state holiday, stricter outdoor dog sheltering regulations, new juvenile crime laws, and safer online dating.

The laws are either new laws passed in the recently concluded 2022 legislative session or are sections of new laws passed in 2021 or 2022. Regardless, they all take effect this Saturday, October 1, 2022.

"I am incredibly proud of the work that has come out of the legislature, which is by and large the result of collaboration between the legislators and our constituents. We are listening to residents and advocates and finding new ways to make Connecticut an even better place for people to live, work and play," Sen. Cohen said.

Among the 80 news laws taking effect this Saturday are:

  • Senate Bill 350, which creates the new legal Connecticut state holiday of "Juneteenth Independence Day" on June 19 of every year to commemorate the final emancipation of all American slaves. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, thereby freeing the slaves, but news of that decree was not delivered to the remote Confederate state of Texas until more than two years late by a Union general on June 19, 1865. President Biden recognized Juneteenth as a national federal holiday last year.
  • Senate Bill 116 requires pesticide companies to provide direct notice to individual homeowners living on lakes or ponds – instead of simply publishing notice in a local newspaper with general circulation in the area – of their intention to apply pesticides to the lake or pond on a particular day at a particular time.
  • Senate Bill 334 makes commercial driver's license (CDL) exams available to inmates who are within six months of their release date.
  • House Bill 5349 requires police departments to notify a deceased person's next of kin within 24 hours after identifying that deceased person. The new law stems from two incidents in 2021 when police failed to notify two different families of the death of their family member.
  • House Bill 5170 requires adequate (which is defined) shelter for a dog if it is left outside for more than 15 minutes in extreme heat or cold, and requires dogs that are tethered to a stationary object to be provided with regular water.
  • Sections of Senate Bill 4 seek to expand the electrification of the state's motor vehicle fleet, allow condominium owners to install EV charging stations at their condos, and provide financial incentives for private-sector investments in battery-powered medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
  • Sections of Senate Bill 5 require online dating services operating in Connecticut to give their users a safety awareness notification as to whether they do or do not conduct criminal background checks on their members.
  • Sections of Senate Bill 972 provide free communications services to inmates and child detainees in juvenile detention facilities – including phone calls, video and email – as a means of hastening their rehabilitation. Connecticut had a history of charging inmates $4.87 for a 15-minute phone call, the second-highest rate in the country after Arkansas.
  • Sections of House Bill 5417 make far-reaching changes to procedures for juveniles who are arrested in Connecticut, generally requiring an arrested child to be brought before a judge within five business days after the arrest and allowing courts to order electronic monitoring if a child is charged with a second or subsequent motor vehicle or property theft offense. The bill also establishes a new penalty structure for larceny of a motor vehicle, with graduated penalties based on whether it is a first or subsequent offense, rather than based on the vehicle’s value (as under current law). The bill also creates a new felony penalty structure and higher fines for larceny of a motor vehicle.
  • Sections of House Bill 5373 now require police chiefs to notify POST (the Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training Council) anytime an officer has used unreasonable, excessive or illegal force which resulted in someone's serious physical injury or death; intentionally harassed and threatened someone based on their class; or was terminated, resigned or retired due to previous malfeasance.
  • Sections of House Bill 5001 establish a 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, and require that phone number to be printed on all Connecticut public college and university student ID cards.
  • Sections of House Bill 6548 adjust the methods by which people are summoned for jury duty in order to ensure better gender and demographic diversity in jury pools.