Julie Kushner

State Senator

Julie Kushner

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together for Progress

February 8, 2019

Kushner Signs on to ‘A Connecticut Agenda For All’

State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury) today joined with members of her Senate Democratic Caucus to announce “A Connecticut for All,” the Democrats’ legislative package of bills aimed at strengthening gender equity in Connecticut.

“This package of bills is part of the change in the political landscape that I was seeking to achieve when I ran for office last year,” said Sen. Kushner. “There has been a momentum shift in Connecticut and across America where the voices of women and the policy priorities of women are being heard and acted upon like never before. Connecticut ‘gets it.’ Connecticut understands what’s fair to women and working families, and the Senate Democratic Caucus of which I am a member is once again leading the way on legislation to achieve more equality, more opportunity, and more success for all Connecticut residents.”

The “Connecticut for All” agenda includes:

Senate Bill 3: Time’s Up Act: An Act Concerning Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

Compared to other states and the District of Columbia, Connecticut’s statute of limitations for rape (five years) is one of the five-shortest in the country. Twenty-five states have no statute of limitations for rape, and 20 states have a limit that exceeds Connecticut’s. This bill would extend the statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes from 5 years to no limit in Class B and C felony sexual assault (e.g., forced rape, rape by drugs), and from five years to 25 years in felony sexual assault ( e.g., forced sexual contact).

Senate Bill 3 also contains new sexual harassment training requirements where employers with three or more employees must provide such training to all employees. Currently, employers with only 50 or more employees are required to provide at least two hours of training on sexual harassment to supervisory employees within six months of their employment. The new bill would require two hours of training for all employees, not just supervisors.

Senate Bill 697: An Act Concerning NonDisclosure Agreements (NDAs) in the Workplace

The secrecy of NDAs hide the true extent of sexual harassment at a workplace, which can lead to other unsuspecting women becoming victims. This bill would ban the use of NDA in workplace harassment settlements.

Senate Bill 765: An Act Concerning Equal Pay

Last year Connecticut passed a number of steps to ensure equal pay, but there is room to strengthen this legislation. By clarifying legal language and definitions, Connecticut can remove loopholes and help prevent misinterpretation of the law

Senate Bill 395: An Act Concerning Deceptive Advertising Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy

A crisis pregnancy center (“CPC”) is a type of nonprofit organization established to counsel pregnant women against having an abortion. CPCs are not regulated in Connecticut. A CPC’s first point of contact with people facing unplanned pregnancies is often through misleading and deceptive advertisements about the services they provide. In Connecticut, there are 25 CPCs, including a mobile van that travels around the state. Under the guise of being a comprehensive reproductive healthcare provider, CPCs routinely use delay tactics and medically inaccurate information to steer people away from choosing abortion. This bill would ban false and deceptive advertising practices and require all providers to offer information regarding how to access comprehensive reproductive health care upon request. In addition, the bill would require crisis pregnancy centers to disclose to individuals seeking health care that they do not have licensed medical providers on staff.

Senate Bill 792: An Act Concerning Discrimination

At the federal level, public policy progress on transgender discrimination is being reversed. President Trump has banned transgender people from serving in the military; the U.S. Department of Justice reversed a policy that provided non-discrimination protections for transgender people in the workplace; the U.S. Department of Education will not investigate or take action on any complaints filed by transgender students who are banned from restrooms that match their gender identity; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has removed transgender non-discrimination guidelines aimed to protect transgender people in homeless shelters; and the staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been instructed not to use the terms “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based” in official documents. With the constant threats and changes at the federal level, there is a need for Connecticut to remain vigilant in preventing transgender discrimination. This bill will establish a task force to consider what state laws may be necessary to strengthen protections against transgender discrimination in our schools and workplaces.

Senate Bill 533: An Act Concerning Expanding Access to Diaper Changing Tables

Fathers are increasingly spending more time on childcare today than they were even half a generation ago. But public diaper-changing stations are typically found only in women’s restrooms, which makes it inconvenient for fathers who are out in public alone. The bill would require all newly constructed or substantially renovated buildings with public restrooms to contain at least one diaper changing table for women, and at least one diaper changing table for men, on each floor of the building that is open to the public.