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Bills sponsored by Greater Danbury area lawmakers signed into law

Connecticut's governor has signed legislation banning use of the so-called "gay or trans panic" defense in criminal cases.  The controversial legal strategy seeks to use a victim's sexual orientation or identity as justification for a violent crime. 

Lamont made note of the 1998 death of Matthew Shepard, the college student who was beaten to death by two men in Wyoming. Defense attorneys unsuccessfully attempted to use the gay panic defense and those men were convicted.  Rhode Island banned the defense last year. Massachusetts congressmen are trying to ban it in federal court.  Bethel Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan called the defense a mockery of the judicial system and says it's based on hatred, discrimination, and homophobia.  He advocated for the bill's passage during the legislative session.

Governor Lamont has signed a bill into law co-sponsored by New Milford Representative Bill Buckbee. Under the measure. the Board of Regents for Higher Education must look into creating computer programming courses related to the controlled environment agricultural industry and the construction of highly technical greenhouses at the regional community-technical colleges.

A bill has been signed into law which was co-sponsored by Danbury state Senator Julie Kushner.  It allows continuing medical education in risk management to include screening for inflammatory breast cancer and gastrointestinal cancers, including colon, gastric, and pancreatic cancers and other rare gastrointestinal tumors.

Danbury Representative Bob Gofrey co-sponsored a bill which has now been signed into law by the Governor.  The measure requires the Labor Department and the Board of Regents for Higher Education to jointly establish nontraditional pathways to earning a bachelor's degree through apprenticeships.

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Rich Valdes

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