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Conn. weapons registry, rail fare hike begin Wed. among other laws

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The new year in Connecticut will bring a range of new laws, including one requiring state public safety officials to create a registry of people convicted of offenses involving a deadly weapon.

The registry, which will also track those found not guilty of deadly weapon offenses by reason of mental disease or defect, was part of the package of legislation passed earlier in 2013 in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

That same legislative package also requires weapons now considered to be assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines to be registered with state authorities as of Wednesday.

Connecticut's minimum wage increases.  State legislation increasing the minimum wage to $8.70 per hour from $8.25 an hour is the first of a two-year increase.  Another raise to $9 an hour takes effect on Jan. 1, 2015.  The state Department of Labor says between 65,000 and 70,000 workers in Connecticut were paid the minimum wage last year, or about 4 percent of the state's labor force.

 

Also on Jan. 1, higher commuter rail fares take effect.   Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are required to be installed in certain residential buildings when a title is transferred.

 

A state law is taking effect imposing fines on truckers and motorists who fail to clear their vehicles of snow.

Three years after the legislature and then-Governor M. Jodi Rell enacted the so-called ``ice-missile'' legislation the measure makes drivers liable for fines of $1,000 or more if flying ice and snow causes damage or injuries. Motorists whose vehicles are piled high with snow can be stopped by police and ticketed for $75.

A legislative compromise delayed the effective date of the law in exchange for passage in the final days of the 2010 General Assembly.

The state's trucking industry fought 20 years to block the so-called ice-missile legislation. It's now selling a product that allows drivers to reach up and scrape the tops of their big rigs.