Most of the legislation the General Assembly passed in 2016 has already taken effect, but there are a handful of laws that go into effect today, January 1, 2017. Here’s a look at some of the most important legislation that will ring in the New Year:

Fair Chance Employment –  Public Act 16-83

Most employers will no longer be allowed to ask about a prospective employee’s prior arrests or convictions on an initial employment application. Employers may still ask about an applicant’s criminal record later in the process, but this simple change will prevent employers from dismissing anyone with a criminal record outright.

Minimum Wage Increase – Public Act 14-1

The minimum wage will increase from $9.60 to $10.10 an hour, the final increase included in legislation passed in 2014. This increase will help more working families gain financial independence.

Preventing Opioid Overdose – Public Act 16-43

Health insurers will no longer be allowed to require prior authorization for coverage of Narcan, a drug that reverses opioid overdose. Those struggling with opioid abuse and their families need easy access to this life-saving drug. This is one piece of the groundbreaking legislation we passed this year to combat the opioid epidemic.

I’m proud of the leadership Connecticut has shown in these areas, and we will be working hard in 2017 to continue moving our state forward. You can find a full list of legislation taking effect on January 1 here.

State Rep. Douglas McCrory represents the 7th District in Hartford.

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