Connecticut Lawmakers Pass Sweeping Legislation in 2024 Session

Connecticut's 2024 legislative session passed significant bills on paid sick leave, healthcare, housing, education, and elder care reform. The session also approved a $360 million spending package and $2.5 billion in bonding for capital projects.

author-image
Nitish Verma
New Update
Connecticut Lawmakers Pass Sweeping Legislation in 2024 Session

Connecticut Lawmakers Pass Sweeping Legislation in 2024 Session

The Connecticut legislature has wrapped up its 2024 session, passing a flurry of significant bills that address paid sick leave, healthcare, housing, education, and support for families of fallen first responders. The legislative package also includes a $360 million spending plan and authorization for $2.5 billion in bonding for capital projects.

One of the most notable measures is House Bill 5005, which will phase in paid sick days as a nearly universal benefit for Connecticut workers by January 1, 2027. Under the new law, employees will accrue one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked and become eligible for this time after 120 calendar days of employment. "You've got to work hard in this day and age. Make sure that you keep your workers and make sure they're able to stay. I don't want people showing up to work sick," Gov. Ned Lamont said, praising the expansion of paid sick leave.

Why this matters: This legislative package has far-reaching implications for the welfare of Connecticut residents, particularly in terms of healthcare and economic stability. By addressing issues such as paid sick leave, affordable housing, and education, the state is taking a proactive approach to improving the quality of life for its citizens.

In the healthcare arena, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1, an expansive measure that strengthens protections for nurses and home health care providers. The bill was inspired by the tragic death of Joyce Grayson, a 63-year-old visiting nurse. Another key healthcare bill, House Bill 5058, allows Connecticut to join the Nurse Licensure Compact, ensuring nurses can obtain a multistate license to practice in any participating state.

Housing also received attention, with House Bill 5474 encouraging affordable housing development by allowing municipalities to convert vacant nursing homes into multifamily units, regulating short-term rentals, and mandating 45-day written notice from landlords for proposed rent increases. Gov. Lamont expressed support, saying, "I like the fact that it gives the added incentives for workforce housing and affordable housing in downtown areas... I think these are all ways that we work with our municipalities and communities to get more housing out there."

The legislature tackled elder care reform through House Bill 5001, which increases oversight, streamlines Medicaid access, and requires the state to maintain a virtual registry of home care providers. House Bill 5046 prohibits new nursing home residents from being admitted to rooms with more than two beds starting July 1, 2026, and sets penalties for noncompliant health care institutions.

In education, House Bill 5437 mandates annual reporting on disconnected youth and addresses school climate and place-based education initiatives. A bill aimed at boosting child care funding was revised to seek support from businesses and foundations rather than allocating state funds.

Despite these legislative achievements, some measures faced opposition or failed to pass. Gov. Lamont plans to veto a bill that would have created a $3 million state fund to assist striking workers, a priority for the CT AFL-CIO. Legislation to curb wait times for wheelchair repairs won final approval, while a bill to regulate artificial intelligence did not survive the session.

The 2024 legislative session in Connecticut saw significant progress on various fronts, including labor rights, healthcare, housing, education, and elder care reform. With the passage of the $360 million spending package and $2.5 billion in bonding for capital projects, lawmakers have set the stage for substantial investments in the state's future. As these bills become law, their impact will be felt by residents across Connecticut in the coming years.

Key Takeaways

  • CT passes paid sick leave law, phasing in by Jan 1, 2027.
  • Legislature strengthens healthcare protections for nurses and home care providers.
  • Affordable housing development encouraged through vacant nursing home conversions.
  • Elder care reform increases oversight, streamlines Medicaid access, and regulates home care providers.
  • $360 million spending package and $2.5 billion in bonding for capital projects approved.