Connecticut residents can begin receiving up to 12 weeks of paid time off from the state’s new paid family and medical leave program beginning with the new year.
It’s one of a handful of new state laws scheduled to officially take effect Saturday.
The family and medical leave law, which was originally signed by Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont in 2019, allows workers to get paid while they take time off to care for their own health, a newborn child or a sick family member. The program, which state officials say marks the eighth of its kind in the nation, is paid for through a 0.5% tax on employee wages that began a year ago.
The amount of money workers can receive varies, depending on their salaries, and is capped at 60 times the state’s minimum wage, which is currently $13 an hour.
Some other new laws set to take effect include the following:
Out-of-pocket costs for insulin will be limited to $25 a month, while the out-of-pocket expense for equipment and supplies, such as blood glucose test strips and insulin syringes, will be limited to $100 a month for those with health insurance that is regulated by the state.
State Sen. Matthew Lesser, D-Middletown, co-chair of the General Assembly’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, said Connecticut’s law is the “strongest in the country.” However, he said there still needs to be national legislation “because there are too many people who will fall through the cracks otherwise.”
The Connecticut Parentage Act will allow unmarried, same-sex or nonbiological parents to establish their parenting rights through a simple form, known as an Acknowledgement of Parentage.
The advocacy group GLAD and the Yale Law School, which worked to pass the legislation, say that will ensure the parents can legally establish their parental rights immediately after the child is born.
Such rights include the ability to make medical decisions for a child and ensure the child receives insurance benefits or inheritance rights. Also, advocates say the new law will protect parents’ parental rights if they separate from one another.
Certain health providers in Connecticut that cover prescription drugs will now be required cover the cost of at least a 20-minute immunization consultation between a patient and provider that administers vaccines recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The provision was tucked into a wider-ranging bill that was signed into law in 2021 and eliminated the state’s religious exemption from the immunization requirements for students attending public and private schools, including higher education institutions, as well as child care centers and group and family day care homes.
The controversial change, which sparked large protests at the Capitol, came after state public health officials and some state legislators raised concerns about the growing number of parents claiming medical exemptions from childhood vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella and other diseases.
The law, which does not apply to the COVID-19 vaccines, grandfathered students in kindergarten and older who had received a religious exemption before April 28, 2001.