Connecticut legislature

Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

The Wheelhouse Puts On Convention Hats

Are you ready for election season?
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse gears up for the statewide political conventions, which move the campaign season into full swing. Last week's Quinnipiac poll was good news for Tom Foley, who has been largely quiet recently.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Free Speech in the Public Workplace; Employment Law; an Exit Interview with Teresa Younger

U.S. Supreme Court
Credit TexasGOPVote.com / Creative Commons

Sometimes the rulings of the narrowly-divided Supreme Court actually reflect the very divided views of the public and the delicate nature of the law.

But the 2006 decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos made a lot of people scratch their heads. In it, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that work-related statements made by public employees are not protected by the First Amendment.  

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Connecticut First
5:23 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Malloy Addresses General Assembly as Session Ends; Juvenile Sentencing Bill Dies Again

Addressing the House and Senate as the legislative ended, Gov. Dannels made. Malloy is running for a second term as governor.

Bill Would Address Lengthy Sentences for Juvenile Offenders

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The Session That Was
4:38 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Governor Malloy Reflects on the Session

Governor Dannel Malloy addresses reporters the day after the legislative session ends.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

With the state's legislative session now over, Governor Dannel Malloy met with reporters to discuss which bills were passed, and which weren't. Malloy told reporters that he got most of what he asked for in this short session. 

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Legislative Session
8:59 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Legislative Wrap-Up: Fracking Waste Moratorium Passes; Hospital Conversions Possible

The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford.
Cliff Creative Commons

The General Assembly's session ended overnight with lawmakers finishing up work on a measure spelling out details of the $19 billion state budget. 

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Freedom of Information
4:33 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

FOI Advocates Pleased With Legislature's Lack of Action

Jim Smith, president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Efforts to change the state's laws regarding access to public information have apparently stalled. That comes as good news to those who advocate for freedom of information. 

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Horses Prevail
11:02 am
Wed May 7, 2014

A Bill to Protect Connecticut Horse Owners Heads to Governor's Desk

Horses being horses.
Credit see like click / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy plans on signing a bill into law that says horses are not inherently vicious. Both the Senate and House unanimously passed the bill in recent days. It was first introduced by Malloy in response to a court decision involving a horse named Scuppy, who bit a child. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Budgets, Bills, and Freedom of Information

Keith Phaneuf, budget reporter for The Connecticut Mirror
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

There are just hours left in the 2014 legislative session, which means it’s time for lawmakers to start cramming in bills. This hour, we discuss the messy state budget with The Connecticut Mirror’s budget guru Keith Phaneuf.

We also talk about Freedom of Information, something that was changed in the closing minutes of the last session.

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Legislative Session
9:39 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Connecticut Senate Passes Bill Creating Three-Year Ban On Fracking Waste

Mamata.mulay Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut senators unanimously endorsed a bipartisan compromise on how to handle the possibility of waste coming to the state from hydraulic fracturing operations in other states. 

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Legislative Session
7:34 am
Tue May 6, 2014

School Security Bill Passes in Connecticut House of Representatives

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A bill creating a system for the Department of Education to help Connecticut school districts make sure their security plans are adequate is moving through the General Assembly. 

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Connecticut First
5:32 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Senate Approves Annual Budget; Bill Would Expand Early-Childhood Education

The state Senate approved a $19 billion annual budget over the weekend. It postpones three tax breaks for shoppers and retired teachers as the state's surplus dissolves in the state’s sluggish economy. Democrats rallied around the package that provides funding for public education, housing, after-school programs, social service needs, and transportation infrastructure. The budget now awaits Governor Dannel Malloy's signature.

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Legislative Session
4:57 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Bill On Legal Notices Is Stalled

Credit Jon S / Creative Commons

Some of the state's municipal leaders have pushed for a change in state law that would allow them to save money and cut back on printed public notices. But it seems unlikely that lawmakers will pass a measure before the session ends on Wednesday. 

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Early Childhood Education
2:18 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

More Children in Connecticut Could Have Access to Preschool Soon

Gov. Dannel Malloy called for universal access to pre-kindergarten this year, including at a press event at a middle school in Hamden.
Gov. Dannel Malloy Creative Commons

The Connecticut General Assembly passed a budget this past weekend, which -- along with two other bits of legislation -- expands access to pre-kindergarten education. Advocates have said it doesn't reach the ideal goal of universal preschool, but it's an important step in that direction.

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Mental Health
7:55 am
Fri May 2, 2014

As Funding Runs Low, Two Early Intervention Programs Advocate for Support

One early intervention program in Connecticut is iCare, based in Middletown, which helps elementary-aged children in their schools, homes, and communities.
Paul Horton Creative Commons

School officials and health care professionals joined lawmakers at the state capitol on Thursday, touting the importance of early mental health care intervention for kids. It's a cause that's gotten increased attention since the school shooting in Newtown.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

The Wheelhouse Won't Be $55 Richer After All

Governor Dannel Malloy from January 11, 2013 on WNPR's Where We Live.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

If you had big plans for that $55 tax rebate that Governor Dannel Malloy announced in his State of the State address, think again.

This week, Malloy acknowledged this election-year plan was dead.

On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, our team of reporters will discuss the rebate, the 2014 race, Hillary Clinton's visit to UConn, and fracking legislation at the state capitol.

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Legislative Session
8:49 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Bill Poised to Give More Freedom to Certain Nurses

Legislation introduced by the governor will allow certain APRNs to practice independently.
Credit Slawomir Fajer/iStock / Thinkstock

A bill that would allow advanced practice registered nurses more flexibility appears poised to become a law.

The nurses, also known as APRNs, have been licensed to treat patients and prescribe medications independently since 1999, but there's been a catch. They can only do that after entering into a signed collaboration agreement with a medical doctor.

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Fracking Waste
12:12 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

What Connecticut Stands to Gain (and Lose) From Fracking

Water tanks preparing for a fracking job.
Joshua Doubek Creative Commons

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a ban of waste from “fracking,” the controversial method of obtaining natural gas cheaply. This comes less than a year after the state approved a major expansion of its natural gas infrastructure to capitalize on production in nearby states. Now, some are wondering whether Connecticut can avoid the environmental risks of the fracking boom.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Governor Malloy and DEEP Commissioner Klee In Studio

Governor Dannel Malloy on WNPR's Where We Live.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

For the first time since declaring his re-election plans, Governor Dannel Malloy joins us in studio as the legislative session winds down. Joining him is the new commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Robert Klee.

The Malloy administration continues its push for an expansion of natural gas, which is part of its Comprehensive Energy Strategy.

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Live Tweets
8:43 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Fracking, Tax Rebates, and Keno: Malloy and Klee Live

Governor Dannel Malloy during a previous appearance on WNPR's Where We Live
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy and Robert Klee, commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection appeared on WNPR's Where We Live to talk about the environment, energy, politics, and more.

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Connecticut Legislature
3:43 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Bill Expanding Connecticut's Policy on Concussions Heads to the Senate

If H.B. 5113 becomes law, coaches will have to notify a parent or guardian within 24 hours after a young athlete suffers a potential concussion.
Credit Jeff Montgomery / Creative Commons

The Connecticut House of Representatives unanimously approved a measure today expanding Connecticut's concussion policy for young athletes. The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote.

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Connecticut Legislature
3:03 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Legislative Committee Approves Wind Power Siting Regulations

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New wind energy projects can now move forward in Connecticut. Tuesday's announcement ends a three-year moratorium on wind turbines. 

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Keno
11:09 am
Tue April 22, 2014

All Bets Are Off For Keno Repeal

Keno was all but repealed two months ago. Connecticut lawmakers seem reluctant to drop the game, and a potential $27 million a year.
Credit purple_onion / Creative Commons

The electronic lottery game keno could come to Connecticut after all. Keno surfaced at the very end of last year's legislative session as a way to balance the new two year budget. But earlier this year, when a $500 million surplus was announced, lawmakers distanced themselves from the bingo-like game, and a bill to repeal keno seemed like a done deal.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Legislative Roundtable: Education, Business, and Fracking

Connecticut State Senator Gary Holder-Winfield
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The short state legislative session is always filled with a little bit of drama. Namely, there are the burning questions: Can lawmakers get everything done by the end of session? Will we know what’s in the bills that get passed?

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Deregulated Electricity Market
4:51 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Regulators Say Electric Suppliers Must Improve Disclosure

Credit Sarah Simpson / Creative Commons

Utility regulators say independent electric suppliers in the state should be required to give consumers a clear disclosure about how much they're paying for power.

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Crisis Intervention Teams
11:45 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Training Connecticut Police in Mental Health 101

Fairfield Officer Lance Newkirchen on his way to visit the family of a man who, two days earlier, considered suicide.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

How do you tell the difference between someone who needs to be taken to jail and someone who needs to be taken to the hospital? That’s a big concern in Connecticut, where the intersection of law enforcement and mental health has been a huge issue since the Newtown shootings of 2012. 

WNPR spent time with police officers to learn about their training in mental health.

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Allergy Medications
11:33 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Proposal Would Allow Schools to Stock Epinephrine

An epinephrine autoinjector, or EpiPen.
Vu Nguyen Creative Commons

A bill that would allow schools in Connecticut to stock emergency medication for severe allergic reactions has been referred to the Appropriations Committee. 

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Energy
8:50 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Judiciary Committee Approves Ban on Fracking Waste Disposal

A fracking waste container.
Tar Sands Blockade Creative Commons

A bill that would ban the storage or disposal of waste from fracking in Connecticut is moving through the General Assembly. 

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Dems Disagree
4:04 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Democratic Lawmakers Disagree on GMO Grass Seed Bill

Senate President Donald Williams introduced a measure this session that would ban genetically modified grass seed. The bill passed in the Senate, but was voted down in the House.
Credit CT Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

Democrats hold the majority in the General Assembly so it’s rare when a bill endorsed by Democrats in one chamber gets defeated in the other. But that's exactly what happened this week. 

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Election 2014
8:33 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Ted Kennedy, Jr. Announces Bid for Connecticut State Senate

Ted Kennedy, Jr. with his family at the Blackstone Library in Branford.
Lori Mack WNPR

Appearing camera ready and primed, Ted Kennedy Jr. – son of the late U.S. Senator of the same name, and nephew of President John F. Kennedy – announced on Tuesday night that he’s entering politics.  

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Smoking Concerns
1:26 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

E-Cigarette Bill Would Ban Marketing to Kids

Credit scyther5/iStock / Thinkstock

Two members of Connecticut's congressional delegation have launched a bill that would ban companies from marketing e-cigarettes to children.

But they ran into some vocal opposition during a press conference to launch the legislation.

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