By SUSAN HAIGH – Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut’s first major abortion-related legislation in years, which aims to legally protect health care providers and patients from other states’ bans on the procedure, will go into effect Friday.
The legislation was passed by the Connecticut General Assembly in late April and signed in May by Democratic government leader Ned Lamont in response to a Texas law allowing lawsuits against clinics, doctors, and others who perform or facilitate a banned abortion, even in another state. country. state.
Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. About half of states are expected to ban or severely restrict the procedure now that the Supreme Court has left it up to them.
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The Connecticut Attorney General’s office is “ready to advise agencies if the state is asked to facilitate an extradition or use state resources to assist in another state’s investigation/proceedings,” a spokesperson said. from Attorney General William Tong in an email this week.
Connecticut’s new abortion law, which also expands the types of clinicians who can provide early abortions, is one of a handful of important state laws and tax changes that will take effect Friday.
Here are some highlights:
Connecticut’s new law creates a legal ground for action for abortion providers and others when sued in another state for helping an out-of-state patient obtain “reproductive health services” that are legal here. That will allow them to recover certain costs incurred while defending themselves in court.
The new law also limits the governor’s discretion to extradite anyone accused of performing abortion services legal in Connecticut, as well as the participation of Connecticut courts and agencies in those criminal or civil lawsuits. This includes serving subpoenas and signing a subpoena.
Language in the revised state budget, much of which also goes into effect Friday, applies the same protections to those facing an out-of-state judgment over gender-affirming health care that is also legal in Connecticut.
Meanwhile, Connecticut’s new law allows licensed nurses, nurse midwives or physician assistants to perform aspiration abortions in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy. Other states have taken similar steps to expand the pool of providers. Sarah Gordon-Brilla, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, said the first cohort of advanced clinicians is being trained to perform aspiration abortions, a common early-term abortion that requires a suction procedure.
Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, a group that opposes abortion and questioned whether experienced clinicians are qualified to provide the procedure, predicted that the provision in the new law “will likely be fought over in courts.” .
Connecticut’s diesel tax will be increased by 9 cents per gallon due to a planned rate adjustment calculated by the Department of Revenue Services. That means the tax, which is currently 40.1 cents per gallon, will increase to 49.2 cents per gallon.
The rate is currently scheduled to remain in effect until June 30, 2023.
A 2007 state law requires the diesel tax to be updated annually, based on a complex legal formula. The Fixed Price Tax was created to provide companies with predictability. This year, however, it was unclear where the tariff might land, given rising diesel prices.
Lamont has been criticized by his Republican opponent Bob Stefanowski for failing to work to suspend the raise. The governor has said he does not want to give tax breaks to truck drivers out of state.
However, the new state budget extends the tax break of 25 cents per gallon for gasoline through November 30. Originally this was supposed to end on Thursday. It also includes a new, lower limit on the local motor vehicle tax, which affects 75 communities. Meanwhile, legislation goes into effect that will increase the state income tax credit from 30.5% to 41.5% of federal credits for working people on modest incomes.
The budget also includes a new $2,500 personal income tax credit, effective Friday, for taxpayers who have had a stillborn child that would have been claimed as dependents. An estimated 100 families are eligible.
Connecticut workers who earn minimum wages will receive a raise on Friday.
Under a state law signed by Lamont in 2019, the state’s minimum hourly wage will increase from $13 to $14. The rate is expected to increase to $15 an hour next time on June 1, 2023. Beginning January 1, 2024, the same law requires that wages are indexed to the Employment Cost Index, which is calculated by the United States Department of Labor.
Meanwhile, salaries for judges and magistrates will increase by about 5% on Friday.
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