Connecticut legislature

Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue March 11, 2014

School Resource Officers and the Safety of Our Students

School resource officers have long been a fixture in many urban schools.
Credit rob.wall / Creative Commons

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, something changed at many schools in Connecticut. Armed guards started appearing in places they hadn’t before: in elementary and middle schools. Districts have struggled with the questions of whether this kind of increased security is worth the cost, and whether it provides the kind of school environment they want.

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Wake of Newtown
5:15 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Lawmakers Consider Legislation to Restrict Public Information After Sandy Hook

State Sen. Eric Coleman chairing the Judiciary Committee hearing.
Credit CT-N

Two legislative committees met at the same time on Monday to discuss two very similar bills that would limit access to public documents. The bills are part of the state's response to the 2012 shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

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Connecticut Legislature
1:15 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Government Administration and Elections Committee Meets to Weigh Recommendations

The Connecticut State Capitol.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Connecticut legislature's Government Administration and Elections Committee met Monday to discuss an act that would implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public's Right to Know. 

Some legislators acknowledged they're struggling over whether to support the proposed legislation, which would limit public access to 911 audio tapes, additional types of crime scene photos, and law enforcement audio recordings.

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Connecticut Legislature
1:03 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Judiciary Committee Meets, Considers Privacy Task Force Recommendations

State Sen. Eric Coleman.
Credit CT-N
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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon March 10, 2014

DCF’s Locked Facility for Girls; Sandy Relief Funds; Aid-in-Dying Legislation

Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the East Coast in late 2012.
Credit DVIDSHUB / Creative Commons

A few weeks ago, we held a conversation about the Connecticut Department of Children and Families’ proposal to open a second locked facility for juvenile justice involved girls. It’s a project that has been at the center of intense debate across the state, as many wonder if it’s the best treatment option for at-risk youths.

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Keno, or no?
10:07 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Keno Finally Gets a Public Hearing

With a $500 million projected state surplus, chances are keno will be repealed in Connecticut.
Credit purple_onion / Creative Commons

The General Assembly's Public Safety and Security committee heard public testimony Tuesday on a bill that would repeal last year's law establishing keno in Connecticut.

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Decibels
12:36 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Should Noise in Connecticut Movie Theaters Be Regulated?

Credit Kenneth Lu / Creative Commons

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a proposal that would establish a maximum decibel level at movie theaters across the state. The General Assembly's Public Safety and Security Committee heard testimony during a public hearing on Tuesday, including from Joseph Masher, the chief operating officer of Bow Tie Cinemas.

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Connecticut First
4:35 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Governors Tout Minimum Wage; Possible Amendment to Transportation Fund

Governor Dannel  Malloy, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin spoke to reporters on a White House conference call over the weekend. The chief executives agree a higher minimum wage is critical to boosting workers’ purchasing power and strengthening the economy.  

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Transportation
12:45 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Metro-North Executives Say Efforts to Improve Are Underway

MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast before the state's Transportation Committee.
Credit CT-N

Two Metro-North Railroad executives said on Thursday that the rail line has slowed down its trains, installed new technology, and changed internal management, all in an effort to make commuter rail service better.

MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast and new Metro-North president Joseph Giulietti met with members of the state legislature's transportation committee to talk about reliability and safety with state lawmakers. 

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Legislature
1:32 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Senate President Don Williams Retiring This Year

Senate President Don Williams at WNPR on December 28, 2010.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Ten years after being elected President Pro Tempore of the Connecticut State Senate, Don Williams announced he will not seek re-election this fall. The Brooklyn Democrat has served in the state senate since 1993.

Williams is the longest-serving president of Connecticut's Senate chamber and took the job during the political shuffle following Governor John Rowland's resignation.

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Special Election
10:28 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Holder-Winfield Wins State Senate Special Election

Gary Holder-Winfield thanked supporters at the The Greek Olive in New Haven alongside his wife, Natalie Holder-Winfield, and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, far left.
Credit Thomas MacMillan / The New Haven Independent

Democratic State Representative Gary Holder-Winfield of New Haven won a special state senate election on Tuesday. He succeeds veteran Toni Harp, who's now the mayor of New Haven.

The New Haven Independent reports that Holder-Winfield defeated Republican Steven Mullins with 76 percent of the vote. Holder-Winfield had the backing of top state Democrats for the 10th District seat, including state Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy. 

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

The Wheelhouse Goes From D.C. to Hartford: Politics, Investigations, and Feuds

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy outside the White House on Monday.
Credit C-SPAN

For months, reporters have been asking Governor Dannel Malloy if he is running for re-election this year. On Sunday, he shared his future plans: He is not running for president in 2016.

Oh.

On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we'll talk about Malloy's trip to Washington, D.C. for the National Governors Association meetings where he got into a well-publicized spat with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

Closer to home, another investigation is taking place at the state capitol involving the use of a printer in Florida for campaign materials.

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Health Marketplace
4:12 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Bill Could Allow Access Health CT to Negotiate Prices

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

A legislative committee wants to delay for a year when the state's insurance marketplace, Access Health CT, could begin negotiating prices with the insurance companies selling products through the exchange. 

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Public Policy Divide
4:04 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Mixed Effects on Industry and Workers as Malloy Pushes for Higher Minimum Wage

Dale Doll, pantry coordinator at MACC, said she sees minimum wage workers struggling to put food on the table.
Credit Sujata Srinivasan

As the pace of the gubernatorial campaign picks up, with the position up for re-election this November, Governor Dannel Malloy is making minimum wage a top priority issue. A further increase in the minimum wage is one of the most politically polarizing debates the legislature is likely to see this session. 

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Legislative Session
10:03 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Drone Use Among Many Topics at Judiciary Committee Public Hearing

State Senator Eric Coleman.
Credit CT-N

A lawsuit brought against the Hartford Police Department has piqued interest in private drone use in Connecticut. The state legislature's Judiciary Committee is expected to address the topic, among others, during a meeting on Monday.

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Connecticut First
3:40 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Malloy Attends Governors' Conference; State House GOP Leader Steps Down

Governor Dannel Malloy is in Washington, D.C. for meetings with President Barack Obama and governors from across the country. Malloy and a group of fellow Democratic governors met with the president today. Malloy is scheduled to participate in the winter meeting of the National Governors Association over the weekend.

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State Capitol
2:34 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

State Republicans Release Federal Subpoenas

Credit Chris Reed/iStock / Thinkstock

News broke Thursday that federal agents are investigating state Republicans at the Capitol. Today, Republicans formally released three federal subpoenas that they received. Here they are.

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State Capitol
6:55 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

FBI Investigates Connecticut House Republicans' Campaign Mailings

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The FBI is investigating the Connecticut House Republican caucus and its use of campaign vendor mailings, a probe that prompted the caucus' chief of staff to resign. 

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Legislative session
3:14 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

State Public Safety Committee Raises Bill to Repeal Keno

Co-chairs of the legislature's Public Safety and Security Committee, Rep. Stephen Dargan and Sen. Joan Hartley, at left.
Credit Connecticut Commission on Children

Connecticut's Public Safety and Security Committee met Thursday morning to raise a bill on Keno in the state. State Representative Stephen Dargan (D-West Haven) is proposing legislation to repeal last year's bill that legalized the game in Connecticut.

The controversial game is looking less likely to survive the current session, as more lawmakers express an interest in repealing legislation that made it legal. 

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That Didn't Last Long...
4:17 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Is the Era of Keno in Connecticut Over?

There's a good chance you'll never see a sign like this in Connecticut.
Credit Marc Moss / Creative Commons

Keno in Connecticut may be over before it begins.

Less than a year after a Keno bill passed the legislature in the eleventh hour, and was signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy, legislative leaders are making a push for its repeal, citing an improving economy.

Democratic Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey announced his support for a repeal during remarks to the Connecticut Council of Small Towns.

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Economic Development
10:06 am
Wed February 19, 2014

DECD Chief Defends Underwriting of Business Assistance Loans

Catherine Smith.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development has defended her department's record on business assistance loans. Catherine Smith gave evidence before the Commerce Committee, saying 1,114 companies have been helped through DECD programs like Small Business Express.

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Legislative Session
9:16 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Minimum Wage, Standard Wage Provoke Controversy at Labor Committee

State Rep. Richard Smith of the state's labor committee.
Credit CT-N

The legislature's labor committee had a full slate on Tuesday as it considered some controversial bills. The committee heard public testimony on a wide range of legislation, but among the most disputed were the proposal to further raise the minimum wage, and another bill that would force large corporations to pay a living wage. 

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

Pre-K and Right-to-Die Bills Face the Legislature in 2014

Myra Jones-Taylor, executive director of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's agenda includes universal access to pre-kindergarten. But in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing universal pre-kindergarten.

What's the difference?

This hour, we ask the executive director of the Office of Early Childhood, who is working on this issue.

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Sexual Assault
10:39 am
Tue February 11, 2014

State Lawmakers Consider Legislation to Improve Campus Sexual Assault Policies

Lawmakers announced details of a proposed campus sexual assault bill at the Capitol in January.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

State lawmakers heard from educators, students and advocates of sexual assault victims on Tuesday as they consider legislation to improve sexual assault policies on Connecticut's college campuses.

Some of the most dramatic testimony came from the mother of a UConn student, who described the frustration she had trying to find help for her daughter after she reported being sexually assaulted a fraternity party. 

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Legislative Session
9:11 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Business Gives State of the State a Mixed Review

Credit Siri Stafford/Digital Vision / Thinkstock

The legislative session that got underway Thursday is expected to focus on jobs and the economy. And the governor's State of the State address contained a mixed bag of economic initiatives.

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State of the State
4:20 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Malloy, Legislators Get to Work

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Delayed a day by the snow, Connecticut's lawmakers returned to work to open this year's legislative session, and they began their work by hearing a budget address from Governor Dannel Malloy. 

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Connecticut First
3:26 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Blast of Snow Arrives; Legislative Opening Delayed

Heavy, wet snow has blanketed the region on Wednesday, leaving up to eight inches of snow along the shoreline and up to a foot of snow in the northern part of the state. The next system to watch is Sunday night into Monday. For Wednesday evening, mostly cloudy skies with temperatures in the teens.

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Connecticut Legislature
10:09 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Malloy Delivers the State of the State, and the Session Starts

Governor Malloy will give his State of the State address at noon.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The legislature officially opened today, after being delayed because of Wednesday's snowstorm. Governor Dannel Malloy gave his annual State of the State address after budget chief Ben Barnes briefed the media on the governor's midterm budget adjustment proposals earlier in the morning.

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2014 Session
9:30 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Connecticut Legislative Session Opens

The Connecticut General Assembly (file photo).
Chion Wolf WNPR

The Connecticut legislative session began on Thursday morning in Hartford, delayed a day by a winter storm. Secretary Ben Barnes, of the Office of Policy and Management, delivered a budget briefing, and Governor Dannel Malloy addressed the joint session of the General Assembly at noon. Read the text of his speech here.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed February 5, 2014

The Wheelhouse Plows Ahead

Credit SergeyVButorin/iStock / Thinkstock

Governor Malloy was supposed to give his State of the State address on Wednesday, but the snow pushed it back to Thursday at noon. Ah, yes… it’s still winter. Storm today, more snow predicted this weekend. We hope you’re home snuggled in.

As a matter of fact, this hour on The Wheelhouse, our weekly news roundtable, we need your help. Sure, we’ll talk about politics: priorities for the legislative session, education reform, and a new plan to raise the minimum wage. But we also want to hear from you: are you snowed in? Going to work, or not?

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