2019 CT Legislative Summary
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Below is a summary of the Public Acts passed by the Connecticut General Assembly which may have the greatest impact on law enforcement operations as complied by CPCA Legislative Liaison Sean Hughes (email@example.com). The Public Acts are listed in order of their effective date as stated by the Connecticut General Assembly. After the title of the House Bill or Senate Bill is a brief summary. However, for more information on any of these Public Acts, officers are encouraged to review the text of the listed public acts as some may require policy and/or procedural changes.
PASSED Legislation listed in order of the effective date:
Public Acts Effective on the Date of Passage / Currently Effective
HB 6588 AN ACT CONCERNING THE ISSUANCE OF PARKING CITATIONS BY INDEPENDENT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND PRIVATE SECONDARY SCHOOLS. (Public Act No. 19-140) This bill lifts the prohibition on independent higher education institutions and private high schools issuing parking citations imposing monetary sanctions, including by written warning, posted signs, or any other means, to owners of vehicles parked on their property.
HB 7140 AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION’S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING SEAT BELTS, THE OPERATION LIFESAVER PROGRAM, MAINTENANCE VEHICLES AND TRANSPORTATION STATUTES. (Public Act No. 19-161) This bill makes technical changes to the Department of Transportation statutes. Section 39 regarding the creation of a blue envelope that will contain written information and guidance on the outside of the envelopes regarding ways to enhance effective communication between a police officer and a person with autism spectrum disorder. The envelope will be developed by the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, CPCA, and an advocate from an organization that specializes with mentally handicap individuals. No one other than a police officer or inspector of the Department of Motor Vehicles operating a state or local police vehicle shall operate a motor vehicle displaying a steady blue or steady red illuminated light or both steady blue and steady red illuminated lights that are visible externally from the front of the vehicle.
HB 7291 AN ACT CONCERNING SCHOOL SECURITY. (Public Act No. 19-52) This bill requires the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to update school security and safety plan standards. This bill requires the department to report on and implement simplified documentation requirements for reporting by local and regional boards of education on school security and safety plans and drills. The department and the School Safety Infrastructure Council must report on and implement simplified documentation requirements for school security infrastructure grants and involves the department to develop criteria to identify qualified school security consultants.
SB 1 AN ACT CONCERNING PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE. (Public Act No. 19-25) This bill creates the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FMLI) program to provide wage replacement benefits to certain employees taking leave for reasons allowed under the state’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the family violence leave law, as amended by the bill. It provides them with up to 12 weeks of FMLI benefits over a 12-month period in an amount equal to 100% of the employee’s weekly earnings, up to a maximum of $1,000 per week. Covered public employees include those who are (1) employed in state service (i.e., state employees), but are not in a collective bargaining unit and (2) state, municipal, or local or regional board of education (BOE) employees who collectively bargain to join the program. Once a municipal employer or BOE collectively bargains to include one of its bargaining units in the program, any of the municipality’s or BOE’s employees who are not part of a collective bargaining unit also become covered public employees.
SB 164 AN ACT CONCERNING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS FOR CERTAIN MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL IMPAIRMENTS, MENTAL HEALTH CARE FOR POLICE OFFICERS AND WELLNESS TRAINING FOR POLICE OFFICERS, PAROLE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS. (Public Act No. 19-17) This bill generally prohibits a law enforcement unit from disciplining police officers solely because they seek or receive mental health services or surrender their work weapon ammunition. It also requires a unit to request that officers seek a mental health examination before returning their surrendered work weapons and ammunition. This bill also allows officers who voluntarily admitted themselves to a psychiatric hospital for psychiatric treatment to use their surrendered work weapons or ammunition without criminal penalty within six months of being admitted. This bill makes police officers and firefighters eligible for full workers’ compensation benefits under certain qualifying circumstances.
SB 832 AN ACT CONCERNING REGISTRIES OF PERSONS FOUND RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSAULTS OR OTHER ABUSE, NEGLECT, EXPLOITATION OR ABANDONMENT OF ELDERLY PERSONS OR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. (Public Act No. 19-116) This bill requires the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, by January 1, 2020, to establish and maintain a registry that includes individuals convicted, or found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, of specified crimes of assault or abuse against seniors aged 60 years and older and individuals with disabilities.
Public Acts Effective on July 1, 2019
HB 6754 AN ACT CONCERNING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE PURCHASE OF BODY-WORN ELECTRONIC RECORDING EQUIPMENT. (Public Act No. 19-11) This bill requires the Office of Policy and Management to reimburse any municipality that purchased body-worn recording equipment during the fiscal years ending June 30, 2017, or June 30, 2018, and paid for such purchase no later than August 31, 2018, for costs associated with such purchase.
HB 7297 AN ACT CONCERNING QUARANTINE AND DISPOSAL ORDERS OF ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS. (Public Act No. 19-197) This bill shortens, from 14 days to 10 days, the quarantine period for an animal that has bitten or attacked a person. It requires the agriculture commissioner or his designee, on the 10th day of quarantine, rather than the 14th day, to examine the animal to determine whether to continue or end the quarantine.
SB 504 AN ACT CONCERNING THE SUSPENSION OF DELINQUENCY PROCEEDINGS FOR TREATMENT OR OTHER SERVICES IN MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT OR MISUSE CASES AND CONCERNING DETENTION OF JUVENILES. (Public Act No. 19-110) This bill allows a child charged with a delinquency offense involving either the unlawful use or operation of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle theft, to file a motion with the court requesting an evaluation to determine if he or she would benefit from treatment or other services to address any condition or behavior directly related to the offense. Following an evaluation, the court may suspend the delinquency proceeding so the child may receive such services. If the child successfully completes treatment and complies with the suspension order, the court may dismiss the delinquency charges.
SB 702 AN ACT CONCERNING THE TRANSFER OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY RECORDS BETWEEN AGENCIES. (Public Act No. 19-30) This bill exempts from liability a law enforcement agency that discloses certain criminal investigation records to another law enforcement agency that is authorized to receive them if the receiving agency further discloses the records.
SB 924 AN ACT CONCERNING MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION NOTICE, THE INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATION PLAN, CARRIERS, SCHOOL BUSES, THE MEDICAL ADVISORY BOARD, RESERVED PARKING SPACES, AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES AND OTHER MOTOR VEHICLE STATUTES. (Public Act No. 19-119) This bill makes numerous changes to the DMV statutes. The bill increases the underlying fines for illegal use of parking reserved for people with disabilities. The bill also allows school bus drivers to have non-emergency communications with school officials and specified medical or emergency professionals while driving under certain conditions with a hand-held mobile device.
Public Acts Effective on October 1, 2019
HB 5524 AN ACT INCREASING THE PENALTIES FOR THE SALE OF FENTANYL (Public Act No. 19-38) This bill provides that a “narcotic substance” includes fentanyl or any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of fentanyl.
HB 6376 AN ACT CONCERNING MOTOR VEHICLE INSPECTORS AS PEACE OFFICERS. (Public Act No. 19-108) This bill expands a statutory definition of peace officer to include motor vehicle inspectors in the Department of Motor Vehicles who have received Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) certification.
HB 7107 AN ACT CONCERNING THE THEFT OF WASTE VEGETABLE OIL OR ANIMAL FATS. (Public Act No. 19-138) This bill increases the penalty for the theft of waste vegetable oil or animal fats valued at $1,000 or less. It does so by classifying the theft of these products as 4th degree larceny, which is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
HB 7141 AN ACT REGULATING ELECTRIC FOOT SCOOTERS. (Public Act No. 19-162) This bill defines “electric foot scooters” (e-scooters) and generally gives e-scooter riders the same rights, privileges, and duties as existing law provides for bicycle riders. The act also allows municipalities to regulate e-scooters, to the extent that state law does not conflict with such regulations and requires the Office of the State Traffic Administration’s (OSTA) regulations to cover e-scooter operation on highways and roads under its jurisdiction.
HB 7159 AN ACT CONCERNING OPIOID USE. (Public Act No. 19-191) This bill makes several changes to the laws on pharmacies, pharmacists, and prescribing practitioners. One of the changes is requiring drug manufacturers and wholesalers to report to the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) decisions to terminate or refuse an order from a pharmacy or prescribing practitioner for schedule II to V controlled substances.
HB 7218 AN ACT CONCERNING THE SAFE STORAGE OF FIREARMS IN THE HOME AND FIREARM SAFETY PROGRAMS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. (Public Act No. 19-5) This bill applies the storage requirement to unloaded firearms and increases the age of a minor for these purposes to under age 18. There is also a provision that allows for the teaching of firearms training from kindergarten to 12th grade for schools that choose to incorporate it into their curriculum.
HB 7219 AN ACT CONCERNING GHOST GUNS. (Public Act No. 19-6) This bill generally prohibits anyone from completing the manufacture of a firearm without subsequently obtaining and engraving or permanently affixing on it a unique serial number or other identification mark from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. This requirement does not apply if the frame or lower receiver of the firearm has such a serial number or identification mark. The bill requires DESPP to develop and maintain a system to distribute such serial numbers or identification marks.
HB 7223 AN ACT CONCERNING THE STORAGE OF A PISTOL OR REVOLVER IN A MOTOR VEHICLE. (Public Act No. 19-7) This bill prohibits storing or keeping a pistol or revolver in an unattended motor vehicle if the firearm is not in the trunk, a locked safe, or a locked glove box. This bill does not apply to law enforcement.
HB 7269 AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS’ RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TECHNICAL AND OTHER CHANGES TO THE INSURANCE AND RELATED STATUTES. (Public Act No. 19-196) This bill would allow the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to require each insurer that issues policies in this state to notify said commissioner monthly, all additions, cancellations, and issuances by the insurer of such policies that occurred during the preceding month.
HB 7378 AN ACT CONCERNING NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE WITH A MOTOR VEHICLE AND ILLEGAL RACING. (Public Act No. 19-53) This bill increases the maximum fine and prison sentence for causing someone else’s death through the negligent operation of a motor vehicle, regardless of the type of vehicle.
HB 7389 AN ACT CONCERNING CONFIDENTIALITY IN THE CASE OF A DISCRETIONARY TRANSFER OF A JUVENILE’S CASE TO THE REGULAR CRIMINAL DOCKET AND IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY AND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE. (Public Act No. 19-187) This bill makes various changes in the juvenile justice laws. This bill allows the adult court to return an automatically transferred juvenile case back to juvenile court if the charges are reduced. The bill also makes the proceedings and records of cases transferred from juvenile to adult court confidential.
HB 7394 AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN A FIRST RESPONDER AND A PEER SUPPORT TEAM MEMBER. (Public Act No. 19-188) This bill makes communications between a first responder and a peer support team member confidential with certain exceptions. The confidentiality applies only to communications and records made in the course of a first responder’s participation in a peer support program established by his or her employer.
HB 7396 AN ACT CONCERNING PARITY BETWEEN SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE CASE OF A SPOUSAL OR COHABITATING RELATIONSHIP AND OTHER CRIMES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND CONCERNING THE INVESTIGATION OF A FAMILY VIOLENCE CRIME. (Public Act No. 19-189) This bill repeals the law that specifically criminalizes sexual assault in a spousal or cohabiting relationship but simultaneously subjects married individuals to penalties for other sexual assault offenses. It does so by repealing exemptions for married individuals from the definitions of “sexual intercourse” and “sexual contact” in the sexual offenses statutes.
SB 3 AN ACT COMBATTING SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT. (Public Act No. 19-16) This bill requires the new training each employer will provide their supervisory employees with two hours of training on federal and state sexual harassment laws and remedies available to victims, regardless of how many employees they have. The training must occur within one year of October 1, 2019, except that any employer who provided the bill’s training after October 1, 2018, is not required to provide it a second time.
SB 58 AN ACT CONCERNING GAY AND TRANSGENDER PANIC DEFENSE. (Public Act No. 19-27) This bill prohibits criminal defendants from claiming a defense based solely on the person’s discovery or knowledge of, or the potential disclosure of, the victim’s actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.
SB 380 AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF FORCE AND PURSUITS BY POLICE AND INCREASING POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY. (Public Act No. 19-90) Under this bill, each law enforcement unit must prepare and submit a use of force report for the preceding calendar year to the Office of Policy and Management. The bill makes certain body-worn or dashboard camera recordings disclosable to the public within 96 hours after the incident, narrows the instances deadly force is justified, it also generally prohibits a police officer engaged in a pursuit from discharging a firearm into or at a fleeing motor vehicle unless their life or another life is in danger. The bill requires POSTC to study and review police officers using firearms during a pursuit. The bill establishes a 13-member task force to study police transparency and accountability. The task force must examine: police officer interactions with individuals with a mental, intellectual, or physical disability; the feasibility of police officers who conduct traffic stops issuing a receipt to each stopped individual that includes the reason for the stop and records the demographic information of the person being stopped; and any other police officer and transparency and accountability issue the task force deems appropriate.
SB 556 AN ACT CONCERNING ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR CERTAIN RETIRED PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEES. (Public Act No. 19-111) This bill authorizes municipalities to compensate, by a two-thirds vote of their legislative bodies, certain disabled public safety employees who were severely injured in the line of duty and retired from service as a result of their injuries.
SB 706 AN ACT CONCERNING EPINEPHRINE AUTO INJECTORS. (Public Act No. 19-19) This bill allows a trained individual to administer an epinephrine auto-injector to someone experiencing an allergic reaction if he or she acts with reasonable care. The bill also grants such individuals immunity from civil and criminal liability if they are not licensed health care providers and administer an epinephrine auto-injector in the ordinary course of their employment.
SB 929 AN ACT CONCERNING THE INCLUSION OF ADDITIONAL MANDATED REPORTERS, THE DURATION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT INVESTIGATIONS, CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT REGISTRY CHECKS AND THE REPEAL OF CERTAIN REPORTING REQUIREMENTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES. (Public Act No. 19-120) This bill adds to the statutory list of mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect individuals who have regular contact with and provide services to or on behalf of children through a contract with or credential from the Department of Children and Families, victim services advocates employed by the Judicial Department’s Office of Victim Services, and employees of a Court Support Services Division-operated or contracted juvenile justice program.
SB 992 AN ACT CONCERNING THE TRUST ACT. (Public Act No. 19-20) This bill prohibits any law enforcement officer, school police officer, or security department officer to arrest or detain an individual pursuant to a civil immigration detainer unless the detainer is accompanied by a warrant issued or signed by a judicial officer. This bill also limits the circumstances under which law enforcement officers may disclose an individual’s confidential information to a federal immigration authority. There is also a provision in this bill that establishes new procedures that law enforcement officers must follow when responding to these detainers, placing additional restrictions on the actions they may take and eliminating current law’s requirement that they consider specific public safety and risk factors.
SB 996 AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO VARIOUS STATUTES CONCERNING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND REVISING PROVISIONS CONCERNING JAILHOUSE WITNESSES. (Public Act No. 19-132) This bill makes technical changes to the criminal justice statutes. One of the provisions of this bill extends an exemption that allows certain law enforcement officials to record private telephone conversations to also cover their agents when done for law enforcement purposes.
SB 1082 AN ACT CONCERNING FUNDING FOR PUBLIC SAFETY ANSWERING POINTS AND INCENTIVES FOR REGIONALIZATION AND CONSOLIDATION THEREOF. (Public Act No. 19-79) This bill modifies certain responsibilities of the Division of State-Wide Emergency Telecommunication (DSET), within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, related to DSET’s statewide emergency service telecommunications policy. Under this bill, DSET must establish incentives, rather than just a transition grant program, to encourage public safety answering points to regionalize.
SB 1095 AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL ETHICS. (Public Act No. 19-** This bill requires that each municipality shall adopt and maintain a code of ethics by January 1st, 2020. Any municipality that adopts provisions of the model municipal code of ethics, developed by the Office of State Ethics and keeps up with the current provisions, will be compliant under this bill.
SB 1100 AN ACT CONCERNING “UPSKIRTING”. (Public Act No. 19-14) This bill specifies that this crime applies when the victim has a reasonable expectation of privacy, regardless of whether the victim is in a public place. This bill also specifies for purposes of all conduct constituting voyeurism, a person is not “in plain view” if the view is achieved by photographing or recording under or around a person’s clothing.
SB 1105 AN ACT CONCERNING THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT RECORDS CONCERNING VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND FAMILY VIOLENCE. (Public Act No. 19-43) This bill makes certain victims’ identifying information included in law enforcement investigation and arrest records exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) public disclosure requirements. The bill further allows agencies to redact from arrest records the name, address, or other identifying information of any victim of the following crimes or attempted crimes: sexual assault; voyeurism; injury, risk of injury, or impairing of morals; and family violence.
SB 1111 AN ACT CONCERNING SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL ASSAULT. (Public Act No. 19-93) This bill creates a task force to study the sexual harassment and assault charges in this state. This bill also makes technical changes to sexual harassment civil rewards and creates a process for magistrates to also preside over the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities hearings under certain circumstances.
SB 1115 AN ACT CONCERNING AMENDMENTS TO THE TRUST ACT. (Public Act 19-23) This bill makes certain changes to the Trust Act that was passed earlier in the Session. This bill expands the circumstances for which a Law Enforcement officer can detainer an individual that has been convicted of a class A or B felony offense, or the individual is identified as a possible match in the federal Terrorist Screening Database or similar database. This bill also lengthens the time frame from every month to every six months that a law enforcement agency shall provide to the Office of Policy and Management data regarding the number and demographic data of individuals to whom the law enforcement agency has provided ICE access.
January 1, 2020
HB 7000 AN ACT CONCERNING TRAINING FOR CERTAIN PUBLIC SAFETY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES PERSONNEL. (Public Act No. 19-147) This bill expands this training requirement to include techniques for handling incidents involving juveniles and adults with ASD, NLD, or cognitive impairment.
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