A series of new state laws will go into effect today in Connecticut, laws that were approved in the last legislative session at the state capitol.
Among them are laws that allow the use of medical marijuana, strengthen domestic violence protections and make it illegal not to report the disappearance of a child under age 12.
In all, several dozen new laws take effect Monday. Here’s a breakdown of some of them.
An Act Banning Cadmium in Children’s Jewelry: This prohibits the sale of children's jewelry containing more than .0075 percent (by weight) of elemental cadmium or its compounds or alloys from being sold, offered for sale, or distributed in Connecticut. Cadmium is a known carcinogen.
An Act Concerning Critical Congenital Heart Disease Screening for Newborn Infants: Though it goes into effect Monday the requirement begins Jan. 1, 2013 for all health care institutions caring for newborn infants to test them for critical congenital heart disease, unless, as allowed by law, their parents object on religious grounds. It requires the testing to be done as soon as medically appropriate.
An Act Concerning Penalties for the Violation of Mechanical Contractor Registration: Establishes a penalty for a mechanical contractor who fails to obtain a certificate of registration and willfully (1) engages his or her employees in plumbing and piping or heating, piping, and cooling work or (2) supplies for work an employee who does not hold a valid license to perform such work. The penalty is a $1,000 fine for a first offense and $2,500 for each subsequent offense. By law, failing to obtain a certificate of registration is an unfair and deceptive trade practice.
An Act Concerning the “Move Over” Law: This act applies to the “move over” law to highways with two or more lanes in each direction. The previous law applied to highways with three or more lanes in each direction. The law requires a motorist approaching one or more stationary emergency vehicles located on the travel lane, breakdown lane, or shoulder of a highway to (1) immediately slow to a reasonable speed below the posted speed limit and (2) move over one lane if traveling in the lane adjacent to the location of the emergency vehicle, unless this would be unreasonable or unsafe.
An Act Concerning Jury Duty For Breastfeeding Mothers: This act requires the Judicial Branch to provide information on its website for prospective jurors regarding jury service, including (1) the ability of breastfeeding women to postpone such service and (2) the jury administrator's contact information so that prospective jurors who need reasonable accommodations may request them.
An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana: This act allows a licensed physician to certify an adult patient's use of marijuana after determining that the patient has a debilitating medical condition and could potentially benefit from the palliative use of marijuana, among other requirements. The act lists certain conditions that qualify as debilitating (e. g. , cancer, AIDS or HIV, and Parkinson's disease) and also allows the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) commissioner to approve additional conditions. Among other requirements, patients seeking to use marijuana for palliative purposes must have a written certification by a physician and register with DCP. The act allows qualifying patients and their primary caregivers to possess a combined one-month marijuana supply.
An Act Increasing the Penalty for Poaching: By law, a person who enters or remains in any premises to hunt, trap, or fish, although the person knows he or she is not licensed or privileged to do so, is guilty of 3rd degree criminal trespass. This act increases the penalty for this offense, making it a Class B misdemeanor. Under prior law, it was a Class C misdemeanor
An Act Increasing the Penalty for Subsequent Offenses of Cruelty to Animals: This law increases the penalty for subsequent convictions for specified types of animal cruelty. Under prior law, for first or subsequent offenses, violators could be fined up to $1,000, imprisoned for up to one year, or both. The act increases the penalties for subsequent offenses to a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both.
An Act Concerning the Reporting of a Missing Child: This makes it a class A misdemeanor to knowingly fail to report the disappearance of a child under age 12. The duty to report applies to any parent, guardian, or person who has custody or control of, or is supervising, the child and who either does not know the child's location or has not had contact with him or her for a 24-hour period.
An Act Concerning Domestic Violence: This law gives victims greater support from the courts, victim services and advocates, and law enforcement agencies by specifying additional family violence crimes, court procedures, and victim protections, giving crime victims and victim advocates access to more information, expanding the definition of “trauma-informed care” in family violence cases, requiring police departments to adopt model family violence policies and creating the Family Violence Model Policy Governing Council to evaluate law enforcement policies and procedures on family violence.
An Act Concerning Robbery Committed at a Bank or Credit Union: This extends the reach of the second-degree robbery statute to include robberies committed at a bank or credit union using intimidation, rather than a threat of immediate violence.