Neighborhoods across the state may start to feel a bit safer thanks to a nuisance abatement bill, according to Sen. Anthony Musto (D-22). The bill was signed into law recently by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Senator Anthony Musto (D-Trumbull) was a Co-Sponsor of this bill, and helped lead its unanimous passage in the Senate.

The newly signed Public Act 13-174 expands Connecticut’s nuisance abatement law and gives police officers increased ability to shut down businesses that are repeatedly cited for criminal offenses.

“A year ago we passed landmark nuisance abatement laws that made Connecticut safer by helping law enforcement officers close down seedy businesses, including 11 illegal massage parlors in Bridgeport,” said Sen. Musto. “This new law is the next step toward ensuring all our families feel safe and comfortable in communities where they live.”

Once this law takes effect on October 1, 2013, law enforcement officers will have the ability to shut down a business or evict a tenant who has committed three or more legal violations within a year. These violations include a broad set of safety concerns, such as firearm-related offenses, municipal ordinance violations, and other crimes that are disruptive to the community. The primary targets of this new law are prostitution operations operating under the cover of massage parlors. Law enforcement officers will now have additional tools to work toward the elimination of human trafficking in Connecticut.

In addition to expanding the list of violation for which a business can be closed, this law makes it easier for the state to pursue action against nuisance properties. Under this new law, the state must only prove it is more than likely that allegations against a property are true, which is a substantially decreased burden of proof than what is called for under current law. Law enforcement will now be able to aggressively pursue legal action against any establishment participating in criminal activity.

Businesses participating in criminal actions can be a serious quality of life issue and barrier to economic growth in many communities, according to a release from Musto. Families do not feel safe with these establishments around them, and businesses owners struggle to attract customers. By striking this blow to criminal activity in Connecticut’s neighborhoods, people can feel secure in their homes and job creators can confidently invest in the revitalized area.