Connecticut legislature

Chion Wolf

Dan Roberti is a little-known candidate from a well-known political family, making a big run at a seat in congress.

Roberti is a democrat running for the 5th congressional district seat, opening up this fall as Chris Murphy makes his run for the Senate. He qualified - if barely - for an August primary against endorsed candidate, speaker of the house, Chris Donovan and former state lawmaker Elizabeth Esty.

The lawyer who represented one of the men convicted in the Cheshire murder trials says he expects there will be legal challenges to Connecticut’s death penalty repeal. 

Lawyer Thomas Ullmann represented Steven Hayes, who was convicted and sentenced to death for his role in the murders of Jennifer-Hawke Petit and her two daughters.

Ullmann calls the end of Connecticut’s death penalty a “momentous occasion.”  

Mike Renlund (Flickr Creative Commons)

Connecticut has signed on with 21 other states in supporting Montana's campaign finance laws. That state is being accused of circumventing the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision.

The Citizens United decision removed the federal ban on corporate campaign spending. Montana law requires a corporation to register a political action committee and make independent expenditures from a voluntary, segregated fund. In the case ATM v. Bullock, advocates of Citizens United say this is a clear violation of the Supreme Court ruling.

Two high-priority pieces of legislation didn't make it out of the capitol this session: One was a jobs bill, the other raised the minimum hourly wage by a quarter. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, House Speaker Chris Donovan says he expects both to be on the table at an upcoming special session.

Sunday Sales Begin In Connecticut

May 21, 2012
Harriet Jones

For many package stores in Connecticut, this is the morning after. They’re tallying up the take from their first ever day of Sunday sales. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

They knew it was coming, but up until last week, package store owners didn’t know exactly when.

“It’s done….”

The legislative session just past made some major changes in the state of Connecticut. It abolished the death penalty, established Sunday alcohol sales, legalized medical marijuana and began a process of reform of the education system. But what was in it for the business community? WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

The dust is beginning to settle on the short session that finished last week, and reflection is beginning.

“From the small business perspective I think honestly there’s not much that was achieved.”

The state legislature was unable to agree on a law that that would have brought Hartford $8 million in tax revenue. And as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, there's a lot of blame going around.

Connecticut’s House of Representatives has unanimously passed a wide-ranging education reform bill. Legislators describe the bill as an important step toward improving the state’s public schools and closing Connecticut’s achievement gap.

The chamber erupted in cheers after the 149 to zero vote, giving final legislative approval to a compromise education reform measure. 

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra may have a multi-million dollar problem on his hands. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, he's hoping the state legislature will save him.

Before Alie Garry could enroll at Tunxis Community College, in Farmington, Conn., the 18-year old Simsbury resident had to take a required standardized test called, ominously, the “Accuplacer.” It told her what she might not have wanted to hear - that she needed remedial classes in math and English. But now, three years later, she is grateful for the Accuplacer.

Not every school student wants to dissect a fetal pig in biology class. And now, as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the Connecticut legislature is considering a law that would mandate that those students have another option.

State Representative Diana Urban says students who are opposed to dissecting animals in class should have a choice to learn the same material another way -- say, using a computer simulation. And she says that the choice should be binding on local school districts. So she's proposed a bill to do just that.

Where We Live: The Minimum Wage Debate

May 1, 2012
Monochrome, Creative Commons

Connecticut’s Minimum wage - now at $8.25 - may be changing.

The state house has passed a bill that would hike it by 25 cents each of the next two years. Now it goes to the senate.

Supporters argue the increase would help low wage workers while stimulating the economy.

Chion Wolf

With everything else going on at the Capitol, it’s good someone is paying attention to the budget.

That someone is The Connecticut Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf.  Our budgetary Obi Wan Kenobi stops by to give us an update on the fiscal health of the state - along with news on the “hot button” issues like minimum wage and Sunday liquor sales.

Uma Ramiah

About a thousand teachers gathered Tuesday evening to protest Governor Dannel Malloy's plans for education reform.

"What do we want? Respect! When do we want it? Now!"

It's a rowdy rally on the steps of the state capitol. Teachers from the state's two largest unions have arrived in yellow school buses from across Connecticut. They hold up protest signs, dance to the Black Eyed Peas  --  and, they chant.

"Respect! Now!"