Several New State Laws Take Effect in October

Several New State Laws Take Effect in October

CT News Junkie, September 30, 2016 
by Cara Rosner

Eight new Connecticut laws will take effect in October, covering a wide range of topics, from domestic violence and human trafficking to bedbugs and gift cards.

A new batch of legislation typically becomes law every Oct. 1.

One of the laws prohibits individuals who have been told they are subject to a court-ordered temporary restraining order from possessing firearms or ammunition in the time leading up to their court hearing. The legislation was supported by advocacy groups representing domestic violence victims.

“This new law represents a significant step in Connecticut’s efforts to protect victims of domestic violence at the most dangerous time,” Karen Jarmoc, CEO of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said in a statement. “Women in abusive relationships are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a gun. Temporarily limiting access to firearms when a victim seeks a restraining order and takes that first step to leave is the right thing to do to protect her or his safety.”

Between 2000 and 2015, Connecticut had an average of 14 intimate partner homicides each year, and firearms were the most commonly used weapon, according to a report released last week by the coalition.

“When an instance of domestic violence rises to the point that a temporary restraining order is needed, we must do everything we can to prevent tragedy,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement. “Now, Connecticut will take a commonsense step towards strengthening and enhancing our gun violence protection laws.”

Another law taking effect targets human trafficking. Among other provisions, it requires hotels, motels and other lodging operators to keep records of all guest transactions and receipts for at least six months, and to ensure employees are trained on human trafficking issues. It also expands the definition of the crime “enticing a minor” to include minors age 16 or 17 “or someone reasonably believed to be under age 18.”

Repeat animal cruelty offenders will face increased penalties starting Saturday, when subsequent offenses of “malicious and intentional animal cruelty” change from a class D to a class C felony in the state. Under state law, a first offense is a class D felony.

Other Laws Taking Effect back to top

Other laws taking effect will: change certain provisions governing foreclosures, small loans and other banking-related statutes; require those selling or issuing gift cards to give the buyer an electronic or paper proof-of-purchase or gift receipt, and require anyone accepting a gift card as payment to give the buyer cash for the remaining balance left after a purchase; and restrict how websites and mobile apps can access and process student data.

Another law specifies a framework for treating bed bug infestations in residential rental properties, including public housing. Among other things, it requires landlords to hire and pay a pest control professional to treat infestations if the landlords can’t successfully treat them themselves.

Finally, a new law will give certain veteran-owned businesses a “price preference” of up to 15 percent for certain Department of Administrative Services open-market orders or contracts. To qualify, the businesses must have gross revenue of up to $3 million in the most recent fiscal year, and one or more veterans must own at least 51 percent of the business.