Paid FMLA in ‘Christmas Tree’ Bill
State lawmakers used the special session to revive many proposals from the regular session and pack them, along with other measures, into a “Christmas Tree” budget implementer bill.
Some of the extra-fiscal “presents” of the 600-plus page bill are measures that will impact Connecticut businesses and the state’s competitiveness.
Here are just some of the measures contained in the implementer bill:
Paid FMLA: Directs the state Labor Department to start developing and implementing a new paid family and medical leave program.
- Allows an employee to bring a civil action against an individual at a business for failure to make payments to an employee welfare fund.
- Creates a 13-person Connecticut Low Wage Employer Advisory Board within the Department of Labor to look at the factors behind low-wage employment in the state.
- Requires any medical provider disputing a payment in a workers’ comp claim to file within one year from when the initial payment for services was made.
- Requires employers with approved worker's compensation managed care plans to provide an injured employee with a list of approved medical providers within two days of reporting the claim.
Competitiveness commission: Creates a new state economic competitiveness commission to analyze the impact of tax policy on businesses and help develop policies promoting Connecticut’s economic growth.
Minority businesses: Allows 1% from the Small Business Express program to be used to “develop capacity for capital construction projects for minority business enterprises.”
High-speed Internet: Creates an Office of State Broadband to expand access to high-speed broadband service across Connecticut. Electricity ratepayers will pay for the new office.
Congestion relief: Directs state agencies to develop and implement an accident response plan to more efficiently clear congestion caused by traffic accidents.
Electric rates: Limits the fixed portion of residential electricity bills and bars shifting the cost of any lost revenues to commercial or industrial customers.
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