Hugh McQuaid file photo

Several new laws take effect today including new regulations on pet stores and the sale of electronic cigarettes, as well as a law cracking down on domestic violence.

Here are a few of the laws going into effect on Oct. 1 as identified in the Office of Legislative Research’s “2014 Major Public Acts” report:

Pet shop regulations—the legislation, aimed at combating “puppy mills,” requires the Department of Agriculture to establish standards of care for dogs and cats bred in Connecticut. It prevents a licensed pet shops from selling animals from breeders with U.S. Department of Agriculture violations. The bill also requires pet stores to provide customers with greater reimbursements if they sell a pet that needs medical care soon after the sale. It requires shops to post USDA reports on the breeders they use.

Electronic cigarettes—the law prohibits stores from selling electronic nicotine devices to minors and subjects violators to the same penalties as vendors who sell cigarettes to minors. The law gives investigators a longer window for determining whether a sale is considered a first-time offense.

Domestic violence, sexual assault, and teen dating violence—this new law heightens the penalties for domestic and sexual violence. It establishes a mandatory minimum sentence for intimate partner sexual violence and makes it easier for a court to issue a protective order, among other changes.

Human trafficking—this law increases the responses available to the Children and Families Department if it believes a child is the victim of human trafficking. The department can provide more services, train law enforcement, and establish teams to review human trafficking cases. The law allows a court to conclude a child is “uncared for” if the child has been the victim of trafficking.

Warrants for GPS tracking—the law requires a judge’s approval before police can use GPS device to track someone. Police will need to demonstrate probable cause that the person they want to track has or will commit a crime.

Vulnerable Users—the law increases the penalty to $1,000 for a motorist who injures a pedestrian, highway worker, or cyclist.

Social Benefit Corporations—A new law provides the necessary legal framework for establishing and operating for-profit businesses that seek to produce social benefits while increasing value for their shareholders.

Click here to read the full “Major Acts” report.