Connecticut legislature

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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Inequality
8:40 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Malloy Wants Higher Minimum Wage

Governor Dannel Malloy has proposed raising Connecticut's minimum wage to above $10.00 an hour.

The minimum wage in the Nutmeg State just went up last month to $8.70 an hour. Under legislation passed last year, it will rise again to $9.00 an hour next January, but according to the governor, that's not enough. 

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Public Notice
2:09 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Should Full Public Notices Be Allowed Online Only?

Credit Jon S / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities has released its list of legislative priorities for the year. One of them would allow towns and cities to publish full public notices online, and not in newspapers. The move could save public money, but it is opposed by the state's newspapers.

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Sexual Assault
7:07 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Legislators Announce Bill On Campus Sexual Assault

Roberta Willis details the components of a proposed campus sexual assault bill.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Lawmakers have drafted legislation to address sexual assault on college campuses. It will be the first bill heard by the Higher Education Committee when it convenes next month.

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Aerospace Ramp-Up
3:59 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Malloy Seeks $25 Million for Manufacturing Support

Chris DiPentima of Pegasus Manufacturing speaks to a press conference with Governor Malloy and DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith.
Credit CT-N

The Malloy administration wants to set aside more cash to help the state's manufacturers. The proposal seeks authorization from the legislature to set up a $25 million fund to help advanced manufacturing companies.

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Legislative Session
11:00 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Legislature Will Revisit Right-To-Die Bill

Sarah Myers has ALS and spoke in support of right-to-die legislation.
Credit Ray Hardman / WNPR

Supporters of legislation that would allow terminally ill patients the right to die gathered at the Capitol Wednesday. The event was sponsored by the advocacy group Compassion & Choices.

Last year's legislation that would have allowed a terminally ill patient to request medication from a doctor that would end his or her life didn't get out of the Public Health Committee. Right-to-die supporters say this year could be different, with a new aid in dying law in Vermont and a recent court action in New Mexico.

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Legislative Session
10:33 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Malloy Announces Proposal for More School Security Funding

Governor Dannel Malloy at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven on Thursday.
Credit Office of Governor Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Thursday that his budget will include more money to improve school security across the state. Last year, over 600 schools got state funding. 

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State Legislature
10:55 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Connecticut Democrats Showcase Economic Platform for Upcoming Legislative Session

Don Williams is Senate President Pro Tem.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Democrats have unveiled their plan for jobs and the economy for the coming legislative session in Hartford. But they're facing some skepticism from across the aisle.

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Connecticut First
10:35 am
Wed January 15, 2014

DCF Developing Children's Behavioral Needs Plan; DEEP Commissioner Discusses Climate Change

Credit WNPR/CPTV

The proposal to address the behavioral, mental, and emotional needs of children is a requirement passed under legislation that was passed by the General Assembly last year. The plan is in response to the shooting in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. DCF is looking to create the plan with help from families along with experts and other advocates. It should be completed by October.

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Connecticut Legislature
3:01 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

New Haven to Hold Special Election for Open State Senate Seat

Gary Holder-Winfield, left, and Juan Candelaria, right, are both interested in Toni Harp's vacated state senate seat. The special election is February 25.
Credit Thomas MacMillan/Melissa Bailey / The New Haven Independent

Two incumbent state legislators and a former alderman plan on running in next month’s special election for New Haven’s open state Senate seat. The post became vacant after Toni Harp became the city’s new mayor.

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Connecticut First News
7:03 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

State Bond Commission Hears Aid Requests; Flu Cases Widespread

Gov. Dannel Malloy with members of the State Bond Commission on Thursday.
Credit WNPR/CPTV

The State Bond Commission, along with Governor Dannel Malloy, held a meeting on Thursday. One of the items was a request from the Department of Social Services for just under $6 million to provide grants-in-aid to eight social service providers. An additional request was made for $3 million toward grants-in-aid to non-profits in Stamford, Pomfret, and Branford. 

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Gambling
2:01 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Meeting of the Task Force to Explore Expanding Video Slots in Connecticut

Credit CT-N

A task force of state legislators met on Thursday to consider the possibility of expanding video gaming in Connecticut. Co-Chairs of the task force are State Representative Peggy Sayers (D-Windsor Locks, Windsor) and State Senator Andres Ayala (D-Bridgeport).

Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed December 18, 2013

The Wheelhouse Puts a Bow on 2013

Bill Curry, Christine Stuart, Colin McEnroe, and Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean (clockwise from top left)
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

This is the last edition of our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse for 2013. We're looking back at the year that was (and is) with our team of reporters and analysts.

We'll discuss the performance of the state legislature, which passed gun legislation after Sandy Hook, quietly approved Keno, and loosened campaign finance laws while former House Speaker Chris Donovan's campaign workers went on trial for corruption charges.

What will you remember about 2013?

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Gun Industry
1:04 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Legislative Turmoil, but Record Sales for Connecticut Gun Makers

Mark Malkowski with one of the weapons his company, Stag Arms, makes in New Britain
Harriet Jones

It’s been a momentous year for the gun industry in many ways, and for Connecticut’s gun makers more than for most. Events in Newtown changed the landscape for an industry which some people feel is implicated in the tragedy.  

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The Wheelhouse Digest
10:56 am
Tue October 1, 2013

New Laws Begin; Yale Drops Charges; Metro-North Meltdown Continues

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

You may have noticed that the federal government shut down today. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called this a "sad day for America." But it's not keeping Connecticut down. Today, the state's new health care exchange takes its first spin around the Internet (if on slightly unstable web-wheels), and -- you know you've been waiting for this -- a bunch of new laws go into effect. Maybe you forgot just how good October 1 would be to you. That and more in today's Wheelhouse Digest.

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Freedom of Information
3:31 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Legislator Walks Back Michael Moore Comment, Stands By Vote

A big question since the massacre at Sandy Hook is how much, if any, information from the crime scene should be released to the public. That debate continues. The question at hand isn't should the state have passed a bipartisan, sweeping new law to exempt crime scene evidence from public disclosure. The question is should it have done so in secret, at the end of the legislative session, without public hearing.

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Freedom of Information
5:25 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Newtown, the Public's Right to Know, and Michael Moore?

A state task force trying to figure out how to balance victim privacy with the public's right to know is stacked in favor of privacy.  That's according to a former newspaper editor and the head of a Connecticut open government group. The group is in the early stages of defining its mission.

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10:28 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Connecticut May Act on Mental Health Parity Provisions

Lead in text: 
New state legislation may soon be considered to address enforcement gaps in existing federal regulations related to mental health coverage.
Frustrated by what they consider a lack of clarity from the federal government on how to enforce a landmark mental health parity act, some Connecticut officials want the state to issue its own guidance for interpreting the law. "We just can't wait any longer," said Anne Melissa Dowling, the state's deputy insurance commissioner.
10:16 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Microgrid Pilot Projects Coming to Connecticut

Lead in text: 
Connecticut will soon see nine microgrid pilot projects in eight communities across the state.
The state's first microgrid projects have been announced. Nine projects in eight communities have been approved as part of a microgrid pilot project - the first in the nation - conceived after Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm in 2011 left large swaths of the state without power for more than a week.
News
10:00 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Employers Miss Out On Sick Leave Reforms

Harriet Jones

When Connecticut passed a law two years ago that required employers to provide paid sick leave it was the first state in the nation to do so. And so putting that law into practice has been something of an experiment. This year, businesses asked for some changes to make the law easier to comply with. But as WNPR's Harriet Jones reports, they didn't get them.

When you hear the sound of sirens in one of Eastern Connecticut's towns, it's a fair bet that the vehicle involved belongs to American Ambulance Service, based in Norwich.

 

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