New year brings new laws: 10 essential health benefits protected

Several new laws went into effect in Connecticut with the start of the new year.
Starting Tuesday, 10 essential health benefits will remain protected. with or without the blanket of the Affordable Care Act. They include emergency room trips, mental health services and women’s access to contraceptives without out-of-pocket costs. Lawmakers say that the protection of these benefits was passed with bipartisan support.
Also, prospective employers will no longer be able to ask your current salary during a job interview. State senators in favor of the "Pay Equity Bill" say asking about previous salaries keeps the existing gap between men and women wide. This bill was designed to level the playing field and allow people, especially women and minorities, to be paid for what they can bring to the table - rather than their salary history.
Another law gives police officers the ability to arrest who they believe is the "aggressor" when it comes to domestic violence cases - rather than arresting both victim and aggressor.
Another law taking effect makes college graduates with degrees in the science, technology, engineering or math fields eligible for a $500 tax credit for the five years after they graduate. The graduates must receive their degree after Jan. 1, live and work in Connecticut, or move to the state within two years of graduating.