AG Tong Applauds Ultimate Passage of Invoice to Strengthen Civil Rights Enforcement

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Attorney General Tong welcomes the final passage of the Civil Rights Enforcement Act in Connecticut

(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong applauded a bipartisan 96-51 vote in the state House of Representatives to pass a law to strengthen the enforcement of civil rights in Connecticut. The Senate voted 26 to 9 to pass the law on Friday evening. The bill now goes to the governor’s desk for signature.

SB 363, a law on the duties of the Attorney General, formally recognizes the role of the Attorney General in combating hatred and defending civil rights. It brings Connecticut in line with our sister states by formalizing the attorney general’s ability to investigate and, if the evidence warrants, initiate civil rights suits to halt large-scale, systematic violations of existing constitutional and legal rights. The legislation enables the Attorney General’s Office to pursue the civil enforcement of our state’s laws against hate crimes.

“The passage of SB 363 marks a milestone in civil rights enforcement in Connecticut. Strong bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate have now voted to formalize the role of the Attorney General in combating hatred and defending civil rights. We are ready to take on this work and ready to immediately set up a civil rights department in our office to proactively seek justice for those whose rights and freedoms are being attacked. ” said Attorney General Tong.

Attorney General Tong also made the following statement on Friday night after the Senate passed it.

“Today’s bipartisan vote is a historic step forward for civil rights enforcement in our state. Just days after the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, as we battle a tide of anti-Asian violence and bigotry as authorities in our own state investigate hideous nooses hanging on a construction site as we grapple with anti-Semitism in our communities, we will reminds that we can never take our civil rights and freedoms for granted. We are in the midst of a national reckoning of hatred, race and justice, and Connecticut is not segregated or immune. For the past several years, this office has worked to protect the rights of Connecticut residents to safe voting, access to safe housing and affordable health care without discrimination, and to protect the rights of our immigrant families to due process. And there is still so much to do. This bill strengthens the Attorney General’s ability to proactively seek justice for those whose rights and freedoms have been attacked. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office has the capacity, the expertise and the will to take on this important work. I thank the Senate for the strong bipartisan message it sent today and I look forward to working towards a House passing in the near future, ” Attorney General William Tong announced on Friday.

Twitter: @AGWilliamTong Facebook: CT Attorney General

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