Connecticut legislature

Horses
9:27 am
Tue April 8, 2014

A Lot Riding on a Bill to Limit Liability For Connecticut Horse Owners

Daryl DeCarli and Soldier on DeCarli's farm in Ellington.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

Are all horses naturally vicious? The State Supreme Court didn't answer that question in its recent ruling about a horse named Scuppy who bit a toddler in 2006.

However, a majority of justices agreed that all horses are inclined to bite. This presumption has upset horse owners and equine business owners in Connecticut, who say a lot is now riding on legislation that would reduce their liability to personal injury lawsuits.

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Standard Wage Legislation
11:59 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Bill Could Net the State $100 Million a Year From Low-Wage Employers

Fast food workers campaigned in Hartford last summer for higher pay.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

A new analysis says large companies that allow their workers to rely on state assistance could be heavily penalized by a law currently being considered by the state legislature.

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Taxes
10:14 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Reverse PILOT Proposal Considered Unfair By Some Connecticut Institutions

Connecticut's state capitol building with the Bushnell Park Corning Fountain in the foreground.
Credit Helder Mira / Creative Commons

Some municipal and state leaders would like to see non-profit colleges and hospitals pay taxes to the towns where they reside. One higher education official said the particular idea currently being floated is unfair. 

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Chimpanzee Attack Victim
4:02 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Legislative Committee Blocks Charla Nash's Request to Sue

Charla Nash.
Credit Shelly Sindland / Shelly Sindland Photography

A legislative committee is not allowing a Connecticut woman disfigured in a 2009 chimpanzee attack to sue the state and seek financial damages. 

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Retirement Planning
9:04 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Bill Aims to Help Low-Income Workers Save For Retirement

Credit c-George/iStock / Thinkstock

Three quarters of Americans nearing retirement have saved less than $30,000 for their retirement years, according to data from the New School for Social Research. Decades of stagnant incomes, an inability to save, and disappearing pensions are part of the reason.

One third of Connecticut residents are baby boomers, and state legislators are proposing a program to help them do a better job preparing for retirement.

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Suing the State
5:03 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Charla Nash Wants Her Day in Court

Charla and Briana Nash
Credit Shelly Sindland Photography

Charla Charla Nash was attacked by a 200-pound chimpanzee in February of 2009, while helping her employer, Sandra Herold, get her pet, Travis, back in his cage.

Nash says she was unaware of the danger that lurked.

She doesn't remember anything about the attack, just waking up in the hospital. Travis broke most of the bones in her face, he ripped off her lips, nose, eyelids, and her hands, leaving Nash in a coma for four months. Today, she's blind and lives in a rehabilitation facility at a cost $16,000 per month, an expense she'll have for the rest of her life.

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Legislative Session
10:13 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Newspapers, Municipalities Still Divided Over Legal Notices

Credit Jon S / Creative Commons

The state's daily newspapers, and its towns and cities, remain divided over how to change the state’s laws on printed legal notices.

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Connecticut First
4:47 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Connecticut Has High Hospital Infection Rate; Legislature Approves a PILOT Bill

Patients at Connecticut hospitals in 2012 contracted infections during treatment at rates “significantly” higher than the national rate. According to a report released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Connecticut patients contracted infections during or after colon surgery at a rate 27 percent higher than the national average. 

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$10.10
7:51 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Governor Malloy Signs Minimum Wage Law in New Britain

President Obama stumps for the minimum wage at CCSU
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

President Obama has congratulated Connecticut for becoming the first state to officially endorse his goal for the minimum wage. The General Assembly on Wednesday night passed a bill that will raise the wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017.

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Minimum Wage
7:22 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Connecticut General Assembly Passes Minimum Wage Bill

Governor Dannel Malloy addresses the Raise the Wage stop in Hartford.
Credit Americans United for Change

The Connecticut General Assembly passed a bill that would raise Connecticut's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017. The legislation makes the state the first in the nation to endorse President Barack Obama's goal for the national minimum wage.

Republican senators offered a variety of amendments to the bill, but all were been defeated.  

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Family Court
9:56 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Are There Better Ways of Handling Child Custody Cases in Connecticut?

Dr. Elizabeth Thayer said the system needs to change but advocates shouldn't just criticize the GALs.
Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

There's growing tension in Connecticut between parents and guardian ad litem lawyers or GALs, who are appointed to represent minor children in child custody cases.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed March 26, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Legislative Deadlines, Money In Politics, and Common Core

There are six weeks left in the legislative session.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Key deadlines are coming up for some proposed legislation at the state capitol and some have already passed. On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we talk about what bills may or may not make it out of committee.

We also discuss the role of money in this year’s statewide elections. Common Core remains in the national headlines, with Indiana actually dropping the standards.

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Raising the Wage
1:49 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Minimum Wage Hike Has Mixed Effects

A new analysis from UConn claims that Connecticut may suffer some real economic pain from the minimum wage increase that went into effect this year.

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State Regulations
1:39 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Bill Aims to Strike Obsolete Regulations

Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com / Thinkstock

Governor Dannel Malloy has submitted a bill that would eliminate about a thousand pages of regulation that's currently on the state's books. 

The regulations dealt with in the bill are pretty obscure. Malloy's office has dubbed them obsolete, duplicative or excessively burdensome. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue March 25, 2014

A Look Inside Connecticut's Family Court System

Credit AndreyPopov/iStock / Thinkstock

Earlier this month, The Connecticut Law Tribune reported that a number of the state’s guardian ad litem lawyers had withdrawn from their child custody cases. Their actions came in response to growing tension within the family courts, where parents and advocates have criticized the system -- and the lawyers in it -- for high fees and lack of oversight.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Checking In With Senate President Don Williams and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey

Senate President Don Williams and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Today, conversations with Connecticut’s top two lawmakers - Senate President Don Williams and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey - about two big issues: Freedom of Information and taxes.

Williams has announced his retirement after 20 years in the legislature after this session ends. We talk about his tenure, which included the aftermath of the scandal that sent Governor John Rowland to jail. And about his testimony over proposed legislation that would limit access to public records.

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Budget Time
3:53 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Connecticut Cities and Towns Make Their Case for Funding

Legislators listen to municipal leaders on Wednesday.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Municipal leaders from across the state came to the capitol Wednesday to speak to legislators about their budget concerns. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Global Warming: Attitudes Toward Our Changing World

This January was the fourth-warmest on record.
Credit NASA Goddard Photo and Video / Creative Commons

A recent Gallup poll found that, when it comes to climate change, Americans just aren't that worried. Less than 36% of those surveyed recognized global warming as an immediate threat, while most placed economic, federal spending, and healthcare issues above the need for environmental action. 

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Wildlife
5:43 am
Tue March 18, 2014

For Connecticut Deer, Sunday May No Longer Be a Day of Rest

A new proposal is floating the idea of bow hunting on Sundays.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / jonnnnnn

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection hasn't done a statewide estimate for about five years, but at last count, there were around 120,000 deer in Connecticut, with the largest concentrations in Fairfield County.

DEEP officials said the numbers are getting out of control, and voiced their support for a legislative proposal that would expand deer hunting in Connecticut. 

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Connecticut First
5:48 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Testimony Given on Aid-in-Dying Bill; Drop in Hospital Revenue

The legislature's Public Health Committee heard testimony on a bill which would allow physicians to help terminally ill patients end their lives.  It's supported by an advocacy group called Compassion and Choices, which has spent thousands lobbying for the bill---while the Catholic Church, along with the Family Institute of Connecticut, have voiced strong opposition.

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The End of Life
4:13 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Public Testifies on "Aid in Dying" Bill

Credit photonewman/iStock / Thinkstock

A legislative hearing was held Monday on a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to the terminally ill.  The session brought emotional testimony from those both in favor and opposed. 

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End of Life Choices
9:40 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Legislature Hears Testimony on "Aid in Dying"

Supporters of the bill say they want to allow death with dignity.
Credit Nathan & Jenny / Creative Commons

The legislature's Public Health Committee is slated to hear testimony Monday on a bill which would allow physicians to help terminally ill patients to end their lives.

The so called aid-in-dying legislation is likely to draw impassioned advocates on both sides. 

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Newspapers
7:08 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Papers Fight Proposals to Alter Publication of Legal Notices

Mike Killian stands in the building that once housed the presses of the Meriden Record-Journal.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

As newspaper advertising revenue continues its slump across the country, publishers are trying to hold on to one line of stable cash: the printed legal notice. In Connecticut, municipal leaders are pushing for a change in state law that would allow them to save money and cut back on those notices. And newspapers are pushing back. 

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Patient Care
10:04 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Hospitals Plead for Tax Phase-Out

Hospitals said in the coming year, the tax will cost them hundreds of millions of dollars.
Credit DigiDreamGrafix.com / Creative Commons

Hospital executives and employees spoke out at a legislative hearing about the imposition of a tax that they said has had a detrimental effect on patient care in recent years.

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Health Care
9:25 am
Fri March 14, 2014

State Lawmakers Consider Requiring Providers to Offer Some Hepatitis C Screenings

Credit Stockbyte / Thinkstock

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill on Friday that would require primary health care providers to offer baby boomers a screening test for Hepatitis C, a contagious liver disease. The proposed legislation would affect patients born between 1945 and 1965.

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Budget Bills
10:45 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Barnes: Proposed State Tax Rebate Will Generate 1,000 Jobs

Benjamin Barnes before the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.
Credit CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy's proposal to give Connecticut taxpayers a modest rebate was up for discussion before the General Assembly's tax-writing committee on Thursday. Budget chief Benjamin Barnes said it could be a job generator in the state.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Higher Learning, Higher Crime: A Look at Campus Assault and Violence

Credit Lisa Norwood / Creative Commons

It’s been estimated that roughly one in five female students experiences some form of sexual assault during the course of her college education. It’s a staggering figure that has caught the attention of activists and politicians across the United States.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced that it would begin efforts to stop sexual assault on campuses, creating a task force designed to improve the handling and awareness of sexual crimes at colleges and universities.

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Drug Free Schools
11:40 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Around Schools, a Potential Drawback for "Drug Enforcement" Zones

A new proposal aims to draw back the drug enforcement zones around schools from 1500 to 200 feet.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new law proposes making drug enforcement zones around schools smaller. It's a measure aimed at giving teeth to a law that's been on the books since 1987.

Currently, if you're convicted of possessing or selling drugs within 1500 feet of a school, you're subject to mandatory jail terms. But in urban areas, especially, that 1500-foot area encompasses vast areas of residential space.

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Economic Development
11:54 am
Tue March 11, 2014

UTC Deal Questioned Over Lack of Hiring Demands

Pratt and Whitney's planned new headquarters building in East Hartford.
Credit Pratt and Whitney

The deal offered to United Technologies to redeem extra tax credits could be extended to other corporations in Connecticut. A legislative hearing Monday revealed more details about the huge economic development agreement.

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