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ESSEX, CHESTER, DEEP RIVER, CT — State Representative Christine Palm informs the community about new laws which will come into effect as of January 1st 2022:
In addition to marking the start of a new year, January 1 also marks the enactment of new laws in our state. Please remember that some laws passed in 2021 won't take effect until later in the year or in 2023, e.g. recreational cannabis. Below I've gathered just a few that will go into effect on the first of the year which I think will be of interest to you.
Paid Family and Medical Leave Program
Connecticut's landmark Paid Family and Medical Leave Program will start accepting applications for claims of qualifying events, such as birth or adoption of a child, illness of a family member or one's self, on or after January 1.
Under the program, which the legislature passed in 2019, eligible workers will be able to take up to 12 weeks of time off from work without losing income. This money comes from a pool created by a payroll deduction of one half of one percent, and the combined power of that pool will mean people will no longer be forced to choose between work or health.
Connecticut is only the eighth state in the nation to enact a paid family and medical leave program. Currently, only 13% of private-sector workers in the United States have access to paid family and medical leave.
The program is administered by the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority. Applications can be submitted starting in January 2022 through the website at ctpaidleave.org or via email, fax, phone, or mail. The toll-free application hotline is 877-499-8606.
An Act Concerning Immunizations
While COVID-19 is taking up most of our health concerns, it is not the only disease requiring vaccination. Starting Jan. 1, no religious exemption from state-mandated childhood immunizations for students attending public and private schools (including higher education institutions) will be given. Starting Jan. 1, all children entering school must be vaccinated against:
Exemptions submitted before April 28, 2021 for those enrolled in kindergarten or higher will be grandfathered in.
An Act Concerning the Zoning Enabling Act, Accessory Apartments, Training for Certain Land Use Officials, Municipal Affordable Housing Plans and a Commission on Connecticut's Development and Future
The legislature took a much needed step in increasing affordable housing so that people such as students, retirees, empty-nesters, and town workers can afford to live in our district. Starting Jan. 1, it will be permissible for housing such as garage apartments, in-law suites or “granny pods” to be constructed and leased to family or other tenants in residential and single-family areas, provided they are appropriate to the scale and architecture of the town.
An Act Establishing a Tax Credit for Employers That Make Payments on Certain Loans Issued to Employees by the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority
This law helps both employer and employee. With costs of higher education and student debt mounting, this act seeks to encourage businesses to support their employees' financial well-being. This law gives a tax break to employers who make eligible education loan payments on a qualified employee’s behalf. The maximum credit per employee per income year is $2,625.
An Act Concerning Dental and Vision Insurance Coverage for Children, Stepchildren, and Other Dependent Children
This law allows health, dental, and vision insurance policies to be extended to children, stepchildren, or dependents until the age of 26. Previously, stepchildren and dependents were not always covered under this provision.
The Connecticut Parentage Act
The Connecticut Parentage Act allows equal treatment under the law for same-sex couples by giving non-biological parents legal rights, regardless of parents' marital status, gender, or sexual orientation.
An Act Concerning Diabetes and High Deductible Health Plans
This new law makes life-saving insulin affordable. Starting Jan. 1, certain health insurance policies must:
Expand coverage for diabetes screening, drugs, and devices
Limit out-of-pocket costs for covered diabetes-related drugs and devices
Cover emergency diabetes-related drugs and devices prescribed and dispensed by a pharmacist under this law's provisions
An Act Concerning Use of Force by a Peace Officer
Starting in the new year, new provisions will limit the circumstances under which a law enforcement officer may use deadly physical force, as well as limit when officers may use chokeholds. The General Assembly made these changes in 2020 following the death of George Floyd, and a compromise was reached with law enforcement departments in Connecticut to delay the implementation of these provisions until 2022 so that officers could have more time to receive training on them.
An Act Concerning Insurance Discrimination Against Living Organ Donors and Establishing a Chronic Kidney Disease Advisory Committee
Living organ donors offer the gift of life to those waiting on the transplant list, but often face increased insurance premiums or denial of coverage following the donation. With so many waiting for a transplant, we must work to increase the amount of living organ donors. This law does exactly that by prohibiting insurers from discriminating against living organ donors.
For a full list of laws going into effect on Jan. 1, CLICK HERE.
Please feel free to contact me by email at Christine.Palm@cga.ct.gov with any questions or concerns.