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New Laws Starting Jan. 1

by Christine Stuart | Dec 31, 2009 7:48pm
(0) | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Labor, State Budget, State Capitol

In less than 24 hours a handful of new laws will go into effect that will impact everyone from the wealthy to the poor.

The one, which perhaps will affect the most people, is an increase in the minimum wage.

The minimum wage increases from $8 an hour to $8.25 on Friday. That means all Connecticut businesses will have to pay the state’s minimum wage, which is one dollar above the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Other laws include those that mandate insurance coverage of autism spectrum disorders for children under the age of 14 and wound care for a group of people that have rare skin diseases.

Another law prohibits hospitals and outpatient facilities from seeking payment for increased costs they incur as a direct result of a hospital-acquired condition and yet another new law requires automobile liability insurance policies to disclose the availability of, premium for, and description of underinsured motorist conversion coverage.

Yet another new law restricts the extent to which insurers and others providing individual health insurance can use a person’s history of taking an anti-anxiety prescription drug as an underwriting factor. Health care advocates have hailed this is a victory for consumers seeking to purchase individual health insurance .

Also since Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed the legislation passed in late December by the General Assembly the reduction in estate tax will take effect on Jan. 1.

What won’t happen is the half-percent reduction in the sales tax. The sales tax will remain at 6 percent.

Another new law, which both Democrats and Republicans weren’t happy about, will allow the real estate conveyance tax to be applied to foreclosed properties. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said the new tax will hurt an already vulnerable population.

While neither political party was able to say with any certainty who approved its addition to the state budget both guessed it was added as a way for the state to increase its revenue.

According to the state budget the conveyance tax on foreclosures is expected to generate $24.7 million for the state and $12 to $14 million for municipalities over the next two years.

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