New Laws Taking Effect on October 1, 2010

October 14, 2010

On October 1st, 83 laws, and portions of laws, went
into effect. It is important that citizens are aware
of these laws and the impact they will make on their
lives. For those wishing to see a complete list of these
new laws, please
visit the General Assembly’s website
. For now, I
would like to take the opportunity to highlight some
laws that may be of interest to you.

Act No. 10-109
: An Act Concerning The Use
Of Hand-Held Mobile Telephones And Mobile Electronic
Devices By Motor Vehicle Operators

This bill, which I co-sponsored, raises the maximum
fine for using a cell phone while driving, and requires
the state to remit 25% of the amount received from each
summons given for a violation of this law, to the municipality
that issues the summons.

Act No. 10-115
: An Act Providing A Safe
Harbor For Exploited Children

This act protects people under 16 from prosecution
for prostitution. It establishes a rebuttable presumption
that a person of 16 or 17 years of age charged with
prostitution was coerced into committing the offense.
It also establishes a mandatory minimum nine-month sentence
for anyone profiting from the prostitution of a person
under the age of 18.

Act No. 10-122
: An Act Concerning The Reporting
Of Adverse Events At Hospitals And Outpatient Surgical
Facilities And Access To Information Related To Pending
Complaints Filed With The Department Of Public Health

This act gives patients greater access to information
regarding complaints they have made against their physicians.
The Department of Public Health must provide information
on the complaint’s status on request, and must give
patients the opportunity to review records of the investigation
not under restriction by other state and federal laws.

Act No. 10-100
: An Act Concerning The Unreasonable
Confinement And Tethering Of Dogs

I co-sponsored this law, which prohibits tethering
a dog to any fixed or moving object using a restraint
that does not allow the dog to walk at least eight feet
in any direction. The law also establishes penalties
for the confinement or tethering of a dog for an unreasonable
length of time.

Act No. 10-144
: An act concerning the recommendations
of the Speaker of the House’s of Representatives’ task
force on domestic violence

Most of the provisions in this act take effect on October
1st. This law strengthens disclosure requirements for
family violence intervention units, courts and the Department
of Children and Families. It also enhances the persistent
offender law for crimes involving assault, trespass,
threatening, harassment, and violation of a restraining
or protective order by eliminating the limitation on
the look-back period and allowing the court to consider
convictions for essentially the same crimes in other
states. It also allows the chief court administrator
to establish a domestic violence docket in three geographical
areas, and institutes greater employment protections
for family violence victims, such as allowing the use
of leave time to deal with family violence issues.

Feedback from constituents plays an important role in
developing effective legislation. We legislators rely
on you to bring important matters to our attention.
After looking at these and other new laws listed on
the General Assembly website, I invite you to contact
me with any questions or concerns you may have.