Yesterday, the Connecticut House of Representatives sent an amended version of HB 6318 to the Joint Committee on Labor and Public Employees. The bill, which has already been favorably released by the Joint Human Services Committee, would:
- Provide public employees with paid leave for up to 20 days to train with a newly-acquired service animal, an increase from 15 days currently allowed;
- Make technical changes to align state law terms, such as references to “guide dog,” with federal law and definitions concerning “disability” and “service animals”; and
- Require that the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities post educational materials on its website regarding (1) the differences between service animals, emotional support animals, and therapy animals; (2) the rights and responsibilities of the owners of each type of animal; and (3) the permissible methods under state and federal law for an owner of a place of public accommodation or a landlord to determine whether an animal is a service animal, emotional support animal, or therapy animal.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: While the bill has not yet been scheduled for a hearing by the Joint Labor and Public Employees Committee, it is important that supportive residents email the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org to express support of HB 6318, as amended. Please share your name and home address.
TALKING POINTS: The American Kennel Club (AKC) strongly supports the rights of persons who require a dog to perform essential services to access as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and to be permitted to keep the service dog without regard to the dog’s size, phenotype, or breed. Dogs provide a wide variety of valuable services to the disability community and AKC encourages the continuation and further development of the training and use of dogs for these and similar purposes.
AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide additional information as developments warrant. For more information, contact AKC GR at email@example.com.