- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

12:42 p.m.

Lawmakers will have to return in a special session to pass Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s so-called Second Chance Society legislation.

The intent of the bill is to give nonviolent criminal offenders more opportunities to reintegrate into society.

Among other things, it reclassifies use and possession of drugs as a misdemeanor unless there is evidence of an attempt to sell.

Shortly before the midnight legislative adjournment Wednesday, lawmakers were huddled outside the House of Representatives trying to clarify a section of the bill pertaining to gun owners who’ve committed a misdemeanor.

The bill is one of the Democratic governor’s major initiatives for the legislative session.

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11:15 p.m.

It’s unclear whether Connecticut lawmakers will have enough time to pass Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s so-called Second Chance Society legislation.

The intent of the bill is to give nonviolent criminal offenders more opportunities to reintegrate into society.

Among other things, it reclassifies use and possession of drugs as a misdemeanor unless there is evidence of an attempt to sell.

With the midnight adjournment deadline approaching on Wednesday, lawmakers were huddled outside the Hall of the House of Representatives trying to clarify a section that pertained to gun owners who’ve committed a misdemeanor.

Malloy’s bill already cleared the Senate. If a change is made in the House of Representatives, it would have to return to the Senate for a final vote.

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8:40 p.m.

The Connecticut legislature has toughened requirements for mandated reporters of child abuse following a teacher-student sex scandal in Stamford.

The Senate approved legislation Wednesday following House action last week. The measure now heads to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Teachers, school administrators and other mandated reporters of child abuse could face a felony charge under certain circumstances for not reporting mistreatment. Those who repeatedly fail to report abuse or intentionally interfere with a report could face felony charges that include prison time and fines.

Local or regional boards of education must establish a rapid response team by next Jan. 1 to coordinate with the state Department of Children and Families to ensure prompt reporting.

A Stamford high school principal and assistant principal received probation over charges that officials failed to report a teacher’s sexual involvement with a student.

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7:25 p.m.

The Connecticut legislature has updated the state’s anti-voyeurism law to ban practices such as so-called revenge porn and intrusive photographing of women in a practice known as “upskirting.”

The Senate backed the measure Wednesday, following approval by the House of Representatives two weeks ago. It now heads to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Voyeurism is a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. The legislation makes voyeurism a Class C felony when the victim is under age 16 or the offender has various prior convictions.

A Class C felony is punishable up to 10 years in prison.

The bill defines revenge porn and upskirting as voyeurism offenses. Revenge porn involves disseminating intimate pictures without the other person’s permission.

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7:05 p.m.

Legislation that bolsters Connecticut’s prescription monitoring program to help curb abuse of heroin and prescription opioid abuse has passed the Senate and heads to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

The governor said final action in the legislature Wednesday will assure that health care professionals prescribing treatment are using patient history information to help them make the best decisions to reduce potential abuse.

The legislation requires practitioners, before prescribing more than a 72-hour supply of a controlled substance, to consult the patient’s record and review the patient’s record at least every 90 days if prescribing for prolonged treatment.

Pharmacists would be allowed to prescribe opioid antagonists that counteract a drug’s effects if they receive special training and certification. The measure also expands immunity for prescribers when prescribing, dispensing or administering opioid antagonists.

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6:12 p.m.

State senators have begun debating a proposed Democratic budget that critics claim will make the state less economically competitive but advocates say will “lead to a brighter day for Connecticut.”

Discussion of the two-year, approximate $40.3 billion package on Wednesday was being held on the final day of this year’s legislative session. Lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn at midnight.

The package, which increases numerous taxes and spends an average of 3.5 percent more over the next two years, has been sharply criticized by some of the state’s major employers. A couple, including General Electric Co., said they might leave the state.

But Democratic Sen. John Fonfara argued the budget is unlike any other, by investing in transportation, capping local taxes on vehicles and providing municipalities with additional funding.

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2:45 p.m.

The state Senate has approved legislation permitting Sunday deer hunting by bow and arrow on private property, dealing a blow to animal protection groups that have beaten back similar efforts for years.

The measure was approved Wednesday on a 28-8 vote. It passed in the House of Representatives last week, and now heads to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Annie Hornish, Connecticut state director of the Humane Society of the United States, said the group will urge Malloy to veto the measure. Animal protection groups say expanding hunting will fail to check deer population as cited by the bill. Animal advocates also say bow hunting has a high crippling rate, making it extremely inhumane.

Republican Sen. John Kissel of Enfield said Wednesday that hunters will spare deer from suffering from starvation in harsh winters.

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2:20 p.m.

The state Senate has approved legislation that would make drug possession a misdemeanor for the first two offenses and establishes other changes in criminal justice policy.

The legislation approved on a 22-14 vote early Wednesday requires third and subsequent convictions to be punishable as felonies.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made his so-called Second Chance criminal justice changes a priority. Republicans embraced parts of the Democratic governor’s initiative, part of an effort to send fewer nonviolent criminals to prison while helping former inmates reintegrate into society

Sen. Len Fasano, the Senate’s Republican leader, said drug use is a public health issue, not a criminal matter.

The legislation also maintains the state’s 1,500-foot drug-free school zones for convictions for sale and possession. Convictions in school zones will require jail time, not mandatory minimums.

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11 a.m.

Connecticut’s House of Representatives has passed a $40 billion state budget after Democratic leaders worked through the night to secure enough votes.

The bill, which needed 72 votes, was approved Wednesday morning 73-70. It now heads to the Senate, which by law must act on the package by midnight when the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn for the summer. If it is not passed, lawmakers would need to convene a special session before the July 1 start of the fiscal year.

Plans to vote on the budget Tuesday were scuttled after Connecticut-based General Electric Co., Aetna Inc. and the Travelers Companies Inc. each released rare public statements taking issue with about $700 million in business tax increases.

GE and Aetna both questioned whether they would remain in Connecticut.

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10:40 a.m.

Connecticut lawmakers have voted to reverse a state Supreme Court ruling criticized by the media that said police only have to release basic information about arrests to the public while prosecutions are pending.

The state Senate voted 36-0 Wednesday morning in favor of the bill, which the House approved Friday. The legislation now heads to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

The bill would change the state Freedom of Information Act to require police to release arrest warrant affidavits that provide detailed information on charges and disclose other records.

The Supreme Court ruled last year that the FOI law only required police to release limited arrest information including names, charges and at least a press release.

The Associated Press and other media organizations had asked the court to rule against police.

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