Five new laws took effect in Connecticut on Jan. 1, 2021.
More Police Accountability
While several provisions of the Act Concerning Police Accountability, which was passed in the summer, have already been enacted, more changes are now in effect
Beginning on January 1, officers who make arrests or interact with the public on a daily basis must also prominently display their badge and name tag on the outermost layer of their uniform.
Every officer must submit to a behavioral health assessment every five years, performed by a board-certified psychiatrist or psychologist experienced in diagnosing and treating traumatic stress disorder, to their unit leader.
The membership structure of the Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) council also will change. The overall number of members will increase to 21, with the addition of the Connecticut State Police Academy’s commanding officer), gubernatorial appointments will be reduced from 17 to 11, and six legislative appointments will be added.
Efforts to recruit, retain, and promote minority police officers must be reported to the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
Read the full bill here.
Help For Diabetics
In the new year, diabetics will now be allowed one emergency diabetes-related prescription per year that covers insulin, glucagon drugs, and diabetes devices such as insulin syringes and blood glucose test strips.
The new law requires pharmacists to dispense a 30-day, price-capped emergency supply of diabetes-related drugs and devices for patients who have less than a one-week supply of insulin or related equipment.
It also limits costs to the patient’s insurance plan copayment. If the recipient doesn’t have insurance, the pharmacist must charge the typical price.
Lowering taxes on pension income
Beginning Jan. 1, seniors will be able to claim 28% of pension and annuity income received in 2020 as a deduction on their Connecticut adjusted gross income. That is twice the amount they were able to deduct in 2019 (or 14%).
In 2022, the deduction leaps to 42%, with the eventual goal of 100% reached in 2025.
It’s all part of the state’s six-year plan to phase out taxes on pension and annuity income for individuals earning less than $75,000 a year or married couples earning under $100,000 a year.
For more details click here.
Increased regulation for electric utilities
In October, lawmakers approved a bill that puts the pressure back on utility companies to perform better during emergency situations.
By Jan. 1, each electric utility must report to PURA and the legislature’s energy committee on how it prepares and responds to hurricanes, snowstorms. and other emergencies.
From there, PURA will set minimum staffing requirements for each event.
From the state website.
Half-percent payroll tax for FMLA
Many Connecticut workers will receive slightly smaller paychecks — a decrease of up to 0.5% — due to Connecticut’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.
— Sources State of CT website, and WTNH