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Photo of Senator Cathy Osten.


Cathy Osten

Getting Results

New Laws Taking Effect on January 1

My job as your state legislator is to propose, debate, and pass new laws to improve your quality of life here in Connecticut.

January 1

Beginning next week, on Tuesday, January 1, 2019, several new laws will take effect in Connecticut that will do just that: they focus on women's issues, addressing the problem of crumbling home foundations, and helping to retain certain young college graduates to stay and work right here in Connecticut.

Below are some of the new laws taking effect.

Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence

Public Act 18-5 requires a police officer, when responding to a family violence complaint, to arrest the person the officer determines to be the 'dominant aggressor' (defined as the person who poses the most serious, ongoing threat.) This new law will help address a problem in Connecticut where, 20 percent of the time, police arrest both the victim and the abuser in a domestic violence situation--which is three times the national average.

Pay Equity

Public Act 18-8 generally prohibits an employer from asking about a prospective employee's wage and salary history. Women in America earn 48 cents to 79 cents for every dollar a man earns, and part of this wage disparity is likely due to decades of sexism and unconscious gender bias that depresses women's starting salaries and, therefore, their salary history as they move from job-to-job. Paying a person what the job is worth, instead of simply a bit more than their previous job, is the goal of this new law.

Writing Obamacare Protections into Connecticut Law

Public Act 18-10 helps keep you healthy by requiring that--even if a judge, the president or Congress repeals the federal Affordable Care Act (also known as 'Obamacare')--certain health insurance policies offered for sale to residents of Connecticut must still cover at least 10 essential health benefits, including:

  • Ambulatory patient services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn health care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative services and devices
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

Coverage of Breast Imaging Services

Public Act 18-159 requires insurance companies in Connecticut to pay for a variety of mammograms, breast ultrasounds and breast imaging MRI's with no cost share to the patient. Previously, some baseline mammograms were covered by insurance, but if an additional, follow-up procedure was needed, patients could be billed for hundreds of dollars. This new law helps save patients money while providing them with the medical services they need.

Helping Homeowners with Crumbling Foundations

Public Act 18-160 institutes a new $12 surcharge on most homeowners' insurance policies for the next 11 years, with most of the funds to be deposited into the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund to help the 600+ Connecticut homeowners--and the thousands more who likely have yet to be identified--whose concrete foundations have been damaged by the mineral pyrrhotite.

Tax Credits for STEM Degrees

Public Act 17-2 creates a $500 tax credit--available every year for five years--for any Connecticut resident who works in the state and who graduates from a college or university after January 1, 2019 with a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in a science, technology, engineering or math-related (STEM) field. The tax credit is designed to help Connecticut businesses fill the thousands of manufacturing, biotech and other STEM-related jobs that are being created over the next decade.