PA 07-79—sSB 1190

Public Health Committee

Public Safety and Security Committee

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING VITAL RECORDS

SUMMARY: This act makes a number of substantive and technical changes to statutes addressing vital records and related topics.

Under the act, the Department of Public Health (DPH) commissioner must require applicants seeking employment in, or transfer to, DPH's vital records unit to submit to state and national criminal history record checks. The checks must be done according to existing law (see BACKGROUND). The act also requires applicants to state whether they have ever been convicted of a crime or are facing pending criminal charges when they apply.

The act allows a nurse midwife who delivers a fetus born dead to sign the fetal death certificate. It also allows a nurse midwife to certify to the date of delivery and sign the fetal death certificate, provided the fetal death was anticipated, in cases in which the nurse midwife delivers a dead fetus and there is no physician present at the time of delivery. Prior law gave the nurse midwife the authority to certify to an infant death (a child born alive that dies shortly after birth), but not a fetal death (a fetus over 20 weeks gestation that is born dead).

The act specifies that a marriage or civil union ceremony is valid in Connecticut only if conducted by and in the physical presence of someone authorized to perform such a ceremony.

Finally, the act allows a town recording a vital record event relating to a nonresident to collect up to a $2 fee from that person's town of residence. A vital record is a birth, death, marriage, or fetal death.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007

BACKGROUND

Criminal History Record Checks

By law, a criminal history record check must be requested from the Department of Public Safety's (DPS) State Police Bureau of Identification and applies only to the individual identified in the request. It (1) specifies that the “requesting party” must arrange for fingerprinting or conducting other methods of positive identification that the bureau or FBI may require; (2) directs the state bureau to conduct the state criminal history record check; and (3) if a national criminal history record check is requested, directs the bureau to submit the fingerprints or other positive identifying information to the FBI, unless the FBI permits the requesting party to submit them directly.

The law also authorizes the DPS commissioner to provide expedited service for people requesting criminal history record checks. It authorizes the commissioner to contract with any person or entity to establish and administer this service, which must include making the results of the check available to the requesting party through the Internet. It requires the commissioner to charge an additional $25 fee for each expedited check provided. It specifies that the requesting party must pay the fees for the checks in whatever manner the commissioner requires (CGS 29-17a).

OLR Tracking: JK: KM: PF: dw