Back in November House Speaker Chris Donovan said he was making the fight against domestic violence a priority this legislative session. On Tuesday that promise moved one step closer to reality when the House passed a package of three bills.

The package of bills requires timely distribution of the marriage license surcharge to domestic violence shelters; relaxes penalties for survivors of domestic violence who need to terminate their housing leases; and adds teen dating and domestic violence education to educational staff training programs. On the judicial side the bills create a pilot program for electronic monitoring; improves enforcement of protective orders; and creates three additional domestic violence court dockets.

“The changes we approved today are the most sweeping reforms to domestic violence laws in Connecticut in the past 25 years,” Rep. Mae Flexer, D-Killingly, said. Flexer chaired the task force, which examined the issues surrounding domestic violence.

“We met with prosecutors, survivors, and advocates when creating this legislation,” she said. “The state has an obligation to ensure that victims of domestic violence are receiving the help they need.”

The bills will now head to the Senate for its consideration.

Click here to watch Kimberly Howard’s report from February on the task force recommendations. And here to read Chase’s report on the need for 24/7 shelters.