State budget, new laws start today

- FILE - Connecticut State Capitol (WTNH)


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — July 1st is New Year’s Day for state government. It starts the new budget year and many new laws go into effect.

For some time, police, fire, and other emergency personnel in New Haven have averaged one to two overdose cases a day. It spiked last last week, causing the city to declare a public health emergency.

“Martine struggled with addiction. It started with oxycontin and then it went to…she couldn’t get that, and she ended up being a heroin addict,” said Betsy Jehan of Guilford about her deceased daughter. 

A new law, imposing a seven day limit on opioid prescriptions goes in effect Friday and is part of a major bill signed by the Governor in May aimed at the opioid crisis. The new law also expands the availability and use by emergency responders of the overdose reversing drug Narcan.

As of Friday, there are over 1,000 fewer state employees in Connecticut than there were just two months ago. The new state budget also calls for continued reductions in spending and more layoffs are likely.

Hundreds of non-profit agencies, like the Children’s Center in Hamden will have to shut down their residential drug treatment programs.

“With the closing of that funding the twelve beds are gone, we no longer offer a residence substance abuse program,” said Dan Lyga, the CEO at the Children’s Center.

The Governor and legislative leaders boast there’s no tax hikes in the new budget, but that’s not entirely true. A 25 cent a pack tax hike on cigarettes, passed last year, goes into effect Friday, bringing the total state tax on cigarettes to nearly $4 a pack ($3.90.)

As of Friday, the security forces at all 12 of the state’s community college campuses can be armed. Many are already certified but until today had been forbidden to carry firearms while protecting\ students.

Also, all state colleges and universities must use what’s called the “affirmative consent” standard in determining if a sexual encounter was consensual in an effort to address sexual assault on campuses.

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