Connecticut legislature

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Governor Dannel Malloy's office released a statement today with an eye-catching title:

STATEMENT FROM GOV. MALLOY'S COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR ANDREW DOBA ON CHOCOLATE MILK 

In case you missed it, a provision was put into a bill with "minor revisions" that would ban chocolate milk in schools.

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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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.  

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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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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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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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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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. 

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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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. 

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. 

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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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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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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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.

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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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