Connecticut legislature

City of Hartford

There's a public hearing Monday on a plan that would use money generated by a state tax to help pay off the debt for the new minor league baseball stadium in Hartford. But the governor doesn't know much about it, and the state senate Republican leader is opposed to the plan.

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A recent fight in Connecticut to keep a college campus open has led to new discussions over how the public university system is managed. 

So, what’s the best way to make tough decisions involving public colleges?

DoNo Hartford LLC

The city of Hartford wants state tax dollars to help pay back the loans on its new $60 million minor league baseball stadium built for the team that's now in New Britain, and there's a measure at the capitol to get it done. But not everyone is convinced it's a good idea. 

purple_onion / Creative Commons

The state legislature's Finance, Revenue and Bonding committee heard public testimony on Wednesday on the video lottery game keno.

House Bill 7054 would give the Connecticut Lottery Corporation the authority to operate Keno, with the exception of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos.

Allan Foster / Creative Commons

A bill that would give terminally ill patients the right to try experimental drugs and treatments currently not approved by the Food and Drug Administration is working its way through the state legislature. 

City of Stamford

Earlier this week, Connecticut DOT officials shut down a state-owned parking garage at the Stamford Transportation Center. A chunk of concrete fell from one of the parking decks to the deck below over the weekend. Fortunately, no one was injured.

The garage is almost 30 years old, and has been part of a redevelopment plan of the state’s for a very long time -- a plan that will probably involve replacing the parking garage. But for now, it’s closed for evaluation, and that’s thrown off about a thousand commuters who rely on the rails to get to work.

It points to a bigger question: what will the state do about developing around transit stations? Are we stuck planning primarily for cars? 

Don Harder / Creative Commons

The Board of Regents announced on Wednesday that the Meriden branch of Middlesex Community College will remain open, after the state legislature made an effort to block efforts to close it.

Schoolhouse Rocks

Many bills, including some high-profile ones face the end of their life in the 2015 legislative session. They died a slow death due to personal drama behind closed doors. That allowed an important deadline to pass before moving bills through committee.

Also, remember Keno? That game was legalized by the legislature, then repealed the following year after public outrage. But now that the state is considering more casino gambling, the state lottery is pushing for Keno again and lawmakers are listening.

While Connecticut grapples with a budget deficit, many constituencies are defending their state funding, including librarians who spoke to Gov. Malloy this week. And the Hartford registrars of voters successfully defended their jobs in court.

If this makes your head spin, at least it's baseball season and the Rock Cats get underway in their final season in New Britain. So what happens to the stadium when they move to Hartford?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Following a disastrous 2014 election day in Hartford when voters were turned away from the polls, state lawmakers have tried to introduce various fixes to the system. And one of them died Monday afternoon.

Michelle Lee / Creative Commons

Advocates for a law to allow terminally ill patients access to life ending drugs are hoping for success next year because there's not enough support this legislative session.

Michelle Lee / Creative Commons

A bill that would block efforts to close a community college branch in Meriden because of anticipated state budget cuts has cleared the state Senate. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last week, Comptroller Kevin Lembo forecasted a budget deficit of more than $170 million. Governor Dannel Malloy then issued another round of budget cuts, leaving few legislators happy. This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses Connecticut’s on-going state of "permanent fiscal crisis."

Also, we check-in on some high-profile bills going through the Judiciary Committee. And state lawmakers are considering allowing more casinos in the state, but one town is already saying they don't want one.

Ryan King / WNPR

After years of debate, controversy, and construction, commuters can finally take CTfastrak (aka, the busway). It's less than a week old, but how's it going so far? This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses the long road to opening day for this bus rapid transit system.

Also, Governor Dannel Malloy is making the rounds on national television shows after he signed the first executive order banning state-funded travel to Indiana after recently passed "religious freedom" legislation. The self-described "porcupine" governor is showing his quills to the country.

Office of Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy has formed a nonpartisan working group that will spend the next several months coming up with options to fund his proposed 30-year, $100 billion overhaul of Connecticut's transportation system.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Advocates for juveniles want the state legislature to repeal a rarely used law that allows Connecticut's Department of Children and Families to request a youth be transferred to an adult prison. 

Lee Cannon / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy’s transportation plans have been in the news a lot since the start of the new year. He’s set a bunch of goals -- some of them far off in the future -- but hasn’t yet figured out a way to pay for them.

We’re starting to see signs of Malloy’s efforts to figure it out in the form of proposed bills at the state legislature. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In 2011, the state adopted a Risk Reduction Earned Credit, or RREC program, where certain prisoners can have their sentences reduced by participating in prison programs, and for good behavior. RREC has been controversial, but new statistics show the program has been effective in reducing recidivism rates.

Connecticut House Democrats

Former Bridgeport state Rep. Christina Ayala has turned down a plea deal with prosecutors and will go to trial on election fraud charges.

The Connecticut Post reports Ayala and her lawyer appeared Wednesday before Superior Court Judge Earl Richards and confirmed her decision.

Thomas Hopkins / Creative Commons

A bill that would cap charges for electric services paid by residential customers is moving through the Connecticut General Assembly.

The legislature's Energy and Technology Committee on Tuesday approved a bill capping the monthly, fixed charge at $10. The bill now awaits further action in the Senate.

Politicians and consumer groups voiced concerns about a recent state decision to increase the fix charges imposed by Eversource Energy from $16 to $19.50. Eversource originally requested a $25.50 charge, saying the revenue is needed to cover the utility's expenses.

Connecticut Senate Republicans / Creative Commons

Connecticut's fiscal future seems to be upon us and it's bleak. Last year, budget chief Ben Barnes said, "We have entered into a period of permanent fiscal crisis in state and local government." As lawmakers debate and discuss the state budget, they're learning that Barnes' quote was not hyperbolic.

On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, our panel discusses the on-going budget negotiations and what's on the cutting block. Also, another chapter in the John Rowland/Lisa Wilson-Foley scandal comes to a close as both were sentenced to prison time.

New York National Guard

The Governor's proposal to cut state funding for honor guard details at veterans' funerals has drawn criticism. Now some legislative leaders have quickly stepped in to address the controversy. 

Diane Orson / WNPR

At least two groups are urging the Connecticut General Assembly to protect services that improve parent engagement and that help municipalities plan for early childhood education. 

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Lawmakers are planning changes to a controversial proposal from Governor Dannel Malloy that would enable the state to take land near transit stations.

Brad Bedard / Creative Commons

Connecticut is one step closer to adding more casinos. The legislature's public safety and security committee voted this week 15-to-eight in favor of the legislation

Wikimedia Commons

A high school science club wants Connecticut lawmakers to name titanium as the state’s official element.

Jessica Hill / The Associated Press

A new report says Governor Dannel Malloy's plan to save the state money by reducing the number of people on Medicaid will harm low-income families. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut lawmakers are considering an expansion of the state’s gambling enterprise, urged forward by competition from Massachusetts. Operators of Connecticut's two existing casinos believe that if this legislation passes, their business will remain competitive.

On Thursday, the legislation -- Senate Bill 1090 An Act Concerning Gaming -- was approved 15 to eight by the General Assembly's Public Safety and Security Committee. It awaits further action in the Senate to clarify details still under negotiation.

Sage Ross

    

Over 100 people testified before the legislature's Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

They spoke for and against a controversial bill to allow Connecticut doctors to prescribe medication to help terminally ill patients to end their lives.

Jeff Kubina / Creative Commons

Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun have been dominant forces in the gambling world since entering the market in the 1990s. With that success came revenue for the state of Connecticut. But neighboring states are getting in on the game, opening their own casinos seeking many of the same patrons. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A public hearing on Monday heard residents' input on a proposed bill that would clarify state laws on police officers' authority to make arrests outside of their jurisdiction. 

Speaking on WNPR's Where We Livepanelists broke down the origins of the bill and the issues surrounding it. 

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