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New year means new state laws in Connecticut


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    Connecticut (WFSB) — A near year in Connecticut means new laws will be made official as the clock strikes 12.

From an improvement in paid family and medical leave to no more student religious exemptions for vaccines, law experts share what’s changing at the Capitol tonight.

It brought hundreds of protesters to the Capitol, but the new year will no longer allow public and private school students to go without getting vaccinated unless they have a medical excuse and received a religious exemption before April of 2021.

“The law surprisingly to many people has nothing to do with COVID. What it does is repeal the mandatory religious exemption for diseases such as measles, mumps, polio, and rubella,” said William Dunlap, Professor at the Quinnipiac University School of Law.

The new year will also improve paid family and medical leave benefits for many workers.

“The duration of the benefits increases. It’s now 16 weeks of paid benefits every 2 years. It will now increase to 12 weeks every year,” he said. “Besides that, there will be an additional 2 weeks available for people who are incapacitated during pregnancy.”

The state will also make official the Connecticut Percentage Act. This will allow non-biological parents to establish legal relationships with their children.

This is a milestone for same sex couples, or other children conceived through assisted reproduction. This will grant benefits like the access to health insurance.

“In the hospital when one woman gives birth to the child they will be able to sign what’s called an “Acknowledgment of Parentage” which is a simple administrative form – the birth mother and the non-birth mother are going to sign that form and that established parentage for the non-birth parent,” said Douglas NeJaime, Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

2022 will also bring new rules for police officers on when the deadly use of physical force is allowed.

“It’s a set of new rules designed to discourage the use of unnecessary force by police officers and what it does, it limits the circumstances when a police officer use of deadly force when making an arrest or preventing an escape is justified.”

This year will also allow people to get their convictions for cannabis erased and marijuana could also be available in stores.

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