From the Capitol: New Connecticut laws

With the start of a new year, comes the start of multiple new state laws.

Here in Connecticut, many of the laws we passed in the legislature last year finally took effect this month. From health care issues to gender equality, here’s a closer look at some of the biggest changes I advocated for that began this month:

  • Essential health benefits are protected — Thanks to a bipartisan effort, health insurance policies sold in Connecticut will cover core medical needs. This includes services such as mental health care and prenatal care. No matter what changes are made in Washington, coverage for these services will be protected in Connecticut under state law.

  • Tax cuts for seniors — Passed in 2017, new tax exemptions for social security and pension income begin this year. This includes a phase out of taxes on pension and annuity income less than $75,000 for single filers and less than $100,000 for joint filers. Social security income also will not be taxed under these new thresholds.

  • Pregnancy is now a qualifying life event — I am very grateful that my proposal to make pregnancy a qualifying life event was finally passed into law. Now in Connecticut women can obtain health insurance when they find out they are pregnant, instead of having to wait until their child is born. This will help many women access lifesaving prenatal care during pregnancy.

  • Pay equity — Employers are now prohibited from asking job candidates about their salary history during job interviews. The goal is to reduce the pay gap between men and women.

  • Insurance coverage for 3D mammograms and prosthetics — A new law requires insurance policies to cover these important health care items.

Have other ideas for the legislature to consider this year? The 2019 legislative session is now underway and proposals are being discussed daily. Contact me to share your thoughts, ideas or concerns. I’m always happy to bring your voice to Hartford. Email or call 860-240-8800. Visit to sign up for email alerts to stay informed throughout the legislative session.

State Sen. Kevin C. Kelly represents the 21st senatorial district which includes the towns of Monroe, Seymour, Shelton and Stratford. For more information visit