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December 26, 2023

New laws take effect Jan. 1, including 69-cent minimum wage hike

The start of 2024 will usher in a bevy of new laws in Connecticut, along with the largest income tax cut in state history.

The minimum wage will increase from $15 to $15.69 on Jan. 1, under a 2019 law that ties the hourly minimum wage to the Employment Cost Index, a federal index that tracks wages. It’s the first time the economic indicator adjustment has occurred.

The same 2019 law increased the minimum wage to $15 an hour in June 2023. The minimum wage was $11 an hour in 2019 and increased $1 each year through 2023. 

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz has said the increase will affect about 10% of the workforce.

Also, a new law meant to strengthen incentives for recycling in Connecticut will take effect on the first of the year. It increases the reimbursement for bottle deposits from 5 cents to 10 cents. This also means customers will be charged an extra 5 cents when they make purchases.

The state’s “clean slate law” will take full effect on Jan. 1.

It was originally scheduled to begin in 2023, but was delayed due to technical difficulties with its implementation. The law will automatically erase criminal records of people seven years after the date of their conviction for a misdemeanor, or 10 years after the date of their conviction for certain low-level felonies if they hadn’t been convicted of other crimes.

Also, as of Jan. 1, post-traumatic stress injuries will be covered by workers' compensation laws. Previously, PTSI benefits were only available to police officers, firefighters, emergency medical service personnel, emergency 911 dispatchers and similar professions.

Connecticut’s new law concerning artificial intelligence, SB 1103, also will  take effect. It establishes an Office of Artificial Intelligence, an AI task force and an AI bill of rights. 

In addition, with the 2024 presidential election less than a year away, Connecticut will for the first time allow early voting for primaries, general elections and special elections after Jan. 1.

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