New year means new laws in Connecticut

On Friday, the minimum wage goes up to $9.60. In 2017, the minimum wage goes to $10.10.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Some changes are coming to Connecticut laws as of midnight tonight. For instance, the nutmeg state takes another step towards a living wage for those earning the least. After all the protests, the state raised Connecticut’s minimum wage to $9.15 an hour a year ago. At the start of 2016, that goes up to $9.60 an hour. A year from now, the minimum will go up again to $10.10 an hour.

Do you remember election night 2010 in Bridgeport, when the Registrars of Voters didn’t order enough ballots and they ran out? How about election night 2014 in Hartford? Confusion among the Registrars over voter rolls caused several polling stations to open late, including the one where Governor Malloy votes. To make things run more smoothly in 2016, all Registrars must now take a course to get certified at their job, and every year after, they have to get updated training.

If you have a medical procedure done in the new year, your bill should be clearer when it comes to the hospital facility fee. As hospitals and health care networks buy up more small doctors offices, many now charge you a hospital facility fee even if your proceedure is done as an outpatient in your doctor’s office. This new law doesn’t prevent you from getting charged that, but it does require the fee to be clearly noted on your bill so you can at least argue that it should be reduced.

Another new law requires a study of how veterans are treated. When a vet ends up in court, the state is going to study what kind of sentences they get. Based on what they find, they could make more changes to state laws next year.

Also starting tomorrow, new rules for police. A pool of grant money will be available for police forces to buy body cameras. Police will have to file detailed reports about any violent encounters, and an outside special prosecutor will investigate claims of excessive force.

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