June 30, 2021

After Busy Legislative Session, Significant New Laws to Go Into Effect July 1

At the tail end of a busy legislative session, a number of significant laws will go into effect in Connecticut on July 1 that will improve the lives of Connecticut residents. State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) voted for many of the reforms that go into effect this week.

“Every year, lawmakers consider hundreds of proposals, knowing only some will make it through the process and become law. I’m proud of the work we did in Hartford this year, and I know these new laws will make life just a little bit better for residents of the 26th district,” said Sen. Haskell. “Some are simple updates to safety standards to better protect children and families. Others take steps to address the critical issues of climate change or racial injustice. I’m greatly encouraged that on Thursday, Connecticut will be a slightly better state.”

Among the new laws that will become law July 1:

  • Ice cream trucks will be required to be equipped with signal lamps, stop signals, front crossing arms and convex mirrors to better protect children’s safety. The new law requires the use of signal lights and stop signals at least 50 feet before stopping for sales through the point where all customers are off the road and restricts trucks from vending on roads with high speeds, near schools in session or when their view of the road is obstructed. This law is known as “Tristan’s Law” in honor of a Wallingford boy struck and killed by a vehicle after purchasing ice cream from a truck in 2020.
  • College campuses will administer surveys on sexual misconduct on their campuses every other year, and will be barred from disciplining someone for violating drug or alcohol policies if they report or disclose sexual misconduct related to that violation. This student-led effort aims to better understand current levels of sexual assault on campuses and increase students reporting of sexual misconduct.
  • To fight climate change, and adapt to its expected changes, municipalities will now be permitted to establish municipal stormwater authorities. The new law also allows the Connecticut Green Bank to develop programs to support green infrastructure, increasing its bond limit from $100 million to $250 million.
  • Nursing home patients will now benefit from an expanded patients’ bill of rights, which includes the right for them to treat their living quarters as their own home and empowers them to, among other things, associate and communicate privately and freely (and virtually) with family and loved ones. This is in response to the isolating practices put in place at many nursing homes at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
  • Limited-service pregnancy centers, which offer some pregnancy services but do not offer access or referrals to abortions or emergency contraception, will be prohibited from making deceptive statements about the services they provide. Some such centers have received criticism for advertising services they do not actually offer, thereby delaying critical reproductive care for pregnant women.
  • To promote mutual understanding and educate students about diverse cultures, all boards of education in Connecticut will include Black and Latino studies in their curriculum.