More than 100 new Connecticut laws went into effect on July 1, while several others passed through the legislative session. According to an article by the Hartford Courant, here are eight of the most life-changing laws residents should know about:
Workers’ Compensation for P.T.S.D.
One of the most meaningful pieces of legislation that passed this month was the law that now allows workers’ compensation benefits to cover post-traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D.) for first responders. Police officers and firefighters witness traumatic and catastrophic events on the job over and over again, putting them at an increased risk for P.T.S.D. Giving these local heroes time to heal psychically and psychologically, without the stress of taking on a financial loss, will greatly increase their overall health when returning to work.
Sunscreen in School
Until this month, children in Connecticut were not allowed to carry their own sunscreen at school! The new law allow children older than six to bring and self-apply sunscreen before outdoor school activities as long as they provide a written note from their parents. The old law required schools to treat sunscreen as over-the-counter medication, requiring a doctor’s note and school nurses to apply the sunscreen.
Medicaid for Breast Milk
A new law will require the Department of Social Services to help mothers who require medically necessary breast milk donations by covering the costs through Medicaid. This law will significantly improve the mortality rate for premature babies or infants with health conditions that have a higher chance of survival on breast milk than formula.
HIV Prevention Drugs
Connecticut minors will now have access to HIV prevention medication without requiring parental consent. The pre-exposure medications such as prophylaxis, or PrEP, and are used by people at high risk for HIV to lower their chances of becoming infected. Under the current state law, minors were already allowed to be treated if they had HIV or AIDS without parental consent. As of July 1, high-risk minors can now protect themselves from getting the disease in private as well.
Health Network For LGBTQ
At least $250,000 in funding will be used to create a LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network. Individuals in the LGBTQ community can often be discouraged from seeking medical care out of fear and the prejudice views they receive from unaccepting heath care providers. The goal is to build a healthier and safer environment for Connecticut residents to seek the services they require without discrimination.
5G Wireless for Communities
A new council will review proposals for Connecticut communities who want to take advantage of 5G Technology. These networks are up to five times more responsive and 100 times faster than current wireless services. State officials believe 5G Technology is critical to our state’s economic future and would like to see more communities take advantage of the opportunity.
Medal of Merit
Connecticut residents who support the armed forces in the community could now receive a civilian award under this new law. The Connecticut Medal of Merit, similar to medal honoring military members, will be awarded to any civilian who “has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious conduct that contributes significantly to the accomplishment of the armed forces’ mission.”
Connecticut Bioscience Plan
State officials want people to view Connecticut as a bioscience hub. In line with this image, a new law was created to dedicate funding to a marketing plan, social media campaign, and website to promote the idea. The deadline for the launch of the project is currently February 1, 2020. The states current bioscience sector includes 2,500 companies with nearly 39,000 workers.
For more information about the new Connecticut laws, you can find the full list here.