Unanimous passage of Senate Bill 821 through the state House of Representatives was greeted positively by New Milford's state representative, Cecilia Buck-Taylor (R-67th).

The first-term legislator describes herself as a strong supporter of child related issues and as a lawyer serving counsel to family-related issues for more than 20 years.

The bill, which is scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, passed the state Senate May 8 and is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Rep. Buck-Taylor, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said the bill strengthens child abuse and neglect laws.

The bill will prohibits employers from barring mandated whistleblowers -- physicians, medical examiners, dentists, psychologists, social workers and certain school employees -- from reporting incidents of child abuse, Buck-Taylor said.

She added the bill also reinforces employee efforts when making a good faith report regarding child abuse.

With the law, the state attorney general may sue an employer who violates the law, and a court may impose a penalty of up to $ 2,500 on a violator and order other equitable relief it deems appropriate.