Connecticut legislature

Medicine
4:29 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Making a Tough Marijuana Industry

Connecticut passed a medicinal marijuana law last year, but it could be some time before an industry grows in the state. So far, more than 700 patients are on a registry list. Next month, a committee will review the final nitty gritty in terms of regulations for a Connecticut's medical marijuana industry.

After that, the Department of Consumer Protection will begin to accept licenses for dispensaries and producers. Patients diagnosed with any one of 11 disorders ranging from multiple sclerosis to PTSD can qualify.

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Where We Live
10:22 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Governor Malloy's New Office of Early Childhood, the State Budget, Keno and 2014

Chion Wolf

Yesterday, Governor Malloy signed an executive order establishing the Office of Early Childhood, an idea that has broad support, and funding from the legislature.

"There was no doubt that this legislation, until it apparently got tied up in some politics, was going to pass," said Malloy.

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Legislative Session
11:56 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Officials Pleased With Energy, Environmental Bills

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Your State Budget
1:38 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

There Will Be Keno. It Will Make Money. That’s About All We Know.

Like to gamble? Like beer? Try Keno!
Credit (Photo Courtesy Flickr, edkohler)

Promises - easy to make and tricky to keep.

In the case of Governor Dannel Malloy, he promised throughout the legislative session that he wouldn't raise taxes.  And, by his account, he didn't.  (Others disagree.)

But here's a riddle.  If you promise not to raise taxes, and you've cut all you say you can cut, and you STILL need money to balance the state's books, what do you do?

Answer: Keno.

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News
11:20 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Lawmakers Tap Energy Funds To Balance Budget

Energy Tomorrow, Flickr Creative Commons

Environmentalists are giving state legislators a mixed report card for the session that's just ended. They're happy with parts of the state's new energy policy. But a raid on clean energy funds is causing major concern.

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Conservation Fund
11:20 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Lawmakers Tap Energy Funds to Balance Budget

Energy Tomorrow, Flickr Creative Commons

Environmentalists are giving state legislators a mixed report card for the session that's just ended. They're happy with parts of the state's new energy policy. But a raid on clean energy funds is causing major concern.

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Politics
5:26 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Keno: The Conversation That Never Happened

By Dlogic (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Mary Drexler is executive director of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling.  When Connecticut considers a big move like adding keno to the gambling menu, it's her job to attend all the public hearings and committee meetings at which the change is discussed.  It's her job to offer testimony on the bill and to recruit other experts who can offer opinion on the impact of increased gaming.  This time, she didn't do any of that.  She couldn't, because there were no public hearings or committee meetings. State-sponsored Keno was legalized in Connecticut by, essentially, a back room deal.

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News
8:24 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Sen. Beth Bye "Discouraged" By The Blocking Of Early Childhood Legislation

Chion Wolf

Senator Beth Bye may be leaving this legislative session more disheartened than any other lawmaker.

Despite being funded in the state budget, the Office of Early Childhood was never actually created.

One of the bills biggest supporters is Bye, who was honored earlier this month as a 'Child Champion' by the CT Early Childhood Alliance.

"This is probably the most discouraging situation I've run into since I've been in elected office," said Bye.

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Connecticut Legislature
8:24 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Sen. Beth Bye "Discouraged" By The Blocking Of Early Childhood Legislation

Chion Wolf

Senator Beth Bye may be leaving this legislative session more disheartened than any other lawmaker.

Despite being funded in the state budget, the Office of Early Childhood was never actually created.

One of the bills biggest supporters is Bye, who was honored earlier this month as a 'Child Champion' by the CT Early Childhood Alliance.

"This is probably the most discouraging situation I've run into since I've been in elected office," said Bye.

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News
5:40 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Legislature agrees on Whitehead, state polka, and second state song

State lawmakers passed a bill this week recognizing German immigrant Gustave Whitehead as the first to fly in rather than the celebrated Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk. It was one of just a few bills passed with bi-partisan support.

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Connecticut Legislature
9:06 am
Thu June 6, 2013

How Was Keno Legalized In Connecticut?

Daniel Lobo (Flickr Creative Commons)

This was not the first year that Keno was discussed in the state of Connecticut. But its inclusion in the 2013 budget surprised many - including those who thought they were following it closely.

Earlier this week,  executive director of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling Mary Drexler said she's been in contact with Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman about Keno for the last two years.

"I did not get any word on this until Friday of last week," said Drexler about the deal that passed the legislature.

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Where We Live
11:18 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Connecticut's Legislature Wraps Up The Session

Chion Wolf, Voice of America, "401(K) 2013 (Creative Commons)

The state legislative session is wrapping up with a budget deal that many observers say is full of “promises and gimmicks.” Ned Lamont, the former gubernatorial candidate agreed in a recent op-ed and he joins us with his own budget prescriptions.

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Labeling Modified Food
5:29 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

In Connecticut, GMO Labeling Bill Passes, But Don't Look for Labels Right Away

Advocates for labeling genetically engineered food gather at Capitol. (May 21, 2013)
CT Senate Democrats

Connecticut lawmakers have passed a “first-in-the-nation” law, mandating the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs in food products. It’s headed to the Governor for his signature, but that doesn’t mean it goes into effect anytime soon.

Passage by the state house was the final step in a convoluted series of maneuvers that included a bipartisan agreement reached over the weekend. It requires any food meant for human consumption to have a label that says “Produced with Genetic Engineering.”

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Connecticut Legislature
2:02 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Legislature Looks To Cut Tourism Budget

CTVisit.com

The fortunes of the Connecticut Office of Tourism have turned around since 2009, when then-governor Jodi Rell infamously cut state funding for tourism marketing to just one dollar. Last year the state invested $15 million to promote the state's tourism industry.

The result was the Connecticut "Still Revolutionary" campaign and according to Randy Fiveash, Director of the Connectict Office of Tourism, "Still Revolutionary" has been a huge success.

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Gun Control
1:35 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

State Sees Spike, Some Backlog, In Gun Permitting

State officials are dealing with a new wave of paperwork as they work to implement new gun laws. Residents who want permits and background checks may have a longer wait than usual.

Before the December Newtown shootings, the state would typically have between 800 and 1,400 pending pistol permits to process each month.  Since Newtown, it's had more than 3,500 a month.  And now, the number is up to 4,600.

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News
3:55 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

CT Senate Unlikely to Approve Bill to Allow Mixed Martial Arts

Courtesy of Flickr CC by U.S Department of Defense

The state House of Representatives has overwhelming approved a bill to legalize mixed martial arts in Connecticut, but leadership in the Senate is unlikely to call the bill for a vote.  As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, that news is disappointing to some athletes and entertainment venues in the state.

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Connecticut Legislature
3:55 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

State Senate Unlikely to Approve Bill to Allow Mixed Martial Arts

Courtesy of Flickr CC by U.S Department of Defense

The state House of Representatives has overwhelming approved a bill to legalize mixed martial arts in Connecticut, but leadership in the Senate is unlikely to call the bill for a vote.  As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, that news is disappointing to some athletes and entertainment venues in the state.

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Immigration
2:49 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants Stalls

Courtesy of CT DMV

Many undocumented immigrants in Connecticut want to apply for a state driver's license.

As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports,  legislation to allow them to do so stalled in a legislative committee.  Now proponents are pushing lawmakers to find another way to get the legislation before the full General Assembly. 

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Capital Punishment
11:44 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Challenging Connecticut's Prospective Death Penalty Repeal

Diane Orson

Connecticut’s Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday challenging the constitutionality of the state’s death penalty repeal. The law ends capital punishment for future crimes only.

Connecticut repealed the death penalty last year, but ten men who were on death row before the law passed still face execution.

Assistant Public Defender Mark Rademacher told the court that is unconstitutional.  

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Capital Punishment
12:44 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Connecticut Supreme Court To Hear Arguments On Death Penalty Repeal

Connecticut’s Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday on whether the state’s death penalty repeal violates the constitutional rights of inmates currently on death row.   The law ends capital punishment for all future crimes.

When Connecticut repealed the death penalty last year, the change was “prospective”, not retroactive.  

That means capital punishment is abolished for future cases, but not for inmates already facing execution.

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News
4:56 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Malloy Signs New Gun Laws

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law a sweeping package of gun measures that he says should set an example for the nation.  The governor called it a profoundly emotional day.

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Wake of Newtown
4:07 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Debate On Newtown Laws, And Guns, Begins

Newtown
8:37 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Legislative Leaders Reach Deal on Guns, School Security, and Mental Health Post Newtown

State lawmakers have reached a deal on what they're calling some of the toughest gun laws in the country.   The announcement is the product of weeks of bipartisan talks after the Newtown shootings.

If it passes, the bill would mean universal background checks for the sale of all firearms.  It would also tighten the state's existing ban on assault weapons, require a background check to buy ammunition, and ban the sale of magazines that hold more than 10 bullets.

Democrat Don Williams is the state senate president.

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Right to Die
6:39 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Bill Would Legalize Physician Assisted Suicide

The legislature’s Public Health Committee heard testimony Wednesday from supporters and opponents of a bill that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Connecticut. 

The legislation would allow a physician to prescribe medication to a patient who has six months or less to live, and has been deemed mentally competent. The patient could then take the drug to end their life. 

Critics says Connecticut’s bill lacks adequate safeguards and could lead to abuse of the disabled and elderly. 

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No Luck For Business Owners
9:17 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Business Owners Seek Support at Capitol

Harriet Jones

Small business owners from around Connecticut came to Hartford this week – urging the Governor and the legislature not to add to their burdens. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

                                                   

When pundits talk sometimes about Connecticut being business un-friendly, this is an example of what they mean.

 

“I wrote all of the senators, all the representatives, I wrote Malloy’s office, I put phone calls in, I put emails in, and I have never received a single reply from anybody.”

 

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Where We Live
10:59 am
Thu March 7, 2013

First Responder Follow-up

Chion Wolf

A few weeks ago, we talked about first responders to the tragedy in Newtown. Now the state’s stepping in to help. 

Yesterday, the state legislature voted unanimously to establish the Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Fund. This privately funded program will provide financial help to the roughly 150-200 teachers, first responders and others who are suffering from mental health problems as a result of the tragedy in Newtown. Today we find out more about this program. 

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Connecticut Legislature
8:10 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Violent Video Games Get Public Hearing

woodleywonderworks (Flickr Creative Commons)

The state legislature is mulling over a host of bills in response to the Newtown tragedy. Most concern gun policy, or mental health care but yesterday, the Children's Committee heard public testimony on three bills addressing violent video games.

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Gun Control
9:15 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Gun Violence Hearing Draws Nearly Two Thousand To Hartford

Diane Orson

Nearly two thousand people waited in snow and frigid temperatures Monday in order to attend a hearing of the Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety in Hartford. 

Gun control advocates and opponents talked with each other as they waited to pass through metal detectors at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

"If it was up to me I would mandate that every teacher have a carry permit."

Scott Hoffman is an avid deer and bird hunter from Suffield.

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Where We Live
10:24 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Pre-gaming the State Legislative Session

Chion Wolf

A new legislative session begins in Hartford today - and lawmakers will have a lot on their plates as usual.

But the standard-issue partisan fights over spending, revenues may well be eased - at least early in the session - by the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings.

Governor Dannel Malloy’s State of the State address, the traditional kickoff of the session, will likely focus on the state’s attempt to come back emotionally from the tragedy.

But, it means we’ll also hear a lot about gun control and school safety over the next few months.

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