Connecticut legislature

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

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Connecticut repealed the death penalty last year, but ten men who were on death row before the law passed still face execution.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

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When Connecticut repealed the death penalty last year, the change was “prospective”, not retroactive.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

Read more
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.

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

Debate On Newtown Laws, And Guns, Begins

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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.”


Read more
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. 

Read more
2:07 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Tourism Districts Under Threat

Harriet Jones

Connecticut’s tourism districts are preparing to make their pitch to the legislature about why they should survive in these straitened economic times. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Workers Compensation
6:22 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Town, Police Union Agree On Deal to Help Newtown First Responders

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Null Value

More than a dozen police officers in Newtown haven't returned to work since the day they responded to a mass shooting inside an elementary school. Twenty children and six adults were killed.

Read more
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.

Read more
Aiport-Like Security
8:35 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Bill Proposes Metal Detectors At The Capitol

Chion Wolf WNPR

On this first day of the Connecticut's legislative session, at least one lawmaker wants to make sure that the general assembly can do their work safely. New London State Representative Ernest Hewett has proposed installing metal detectors at the entrance of the state Capitol and the Legislative Office Building.

"It's like going on a plane," said Hewett. "If you get on that airplane and everybody has to go through the same security you went through, you feel a little comfortable on that plane."

Read more
State Law
8:22 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Labeling Genetically Modified Foods in Connecticut

Wikimedia Commons

After a bill to require labeling for genetically modified foods failed to make it out of the Connecticut legislature’s Environment Committee this past February, a bi-partisan legislative task force met last month to consider their next move.

Read more
Free Shipping!
7:47 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Moving Forward With Health Care Reform


Earlier this week Connecticut became one of six states to get the go ahead from the federal government to set up a health exchange, an online store for buying health insurance.

All 50 states must offer a health exchange by October as part of Obamacare.

Joining us by phone is Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange.

Women's Public Policy Issues
12:55 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Women's Policy Day at the State Capitol

Chion Wolf

Tuesday was Women's Policy Day at the State Capitol. 

The event, hosted by the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and five women's advocacy groups, highlighted public policy issues facing women this upcoming legislative session, and also served as a crash course on how to become an effective advocate for women's issues. Anna Doroghazi is public policy director for the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, one of the sponsors of the event:

Read more
Connecticut Legislature
3:44 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Young Cuban-American Wins Election to Connecticut General Assembly

Art Linares, Jr

Connecticut Republicans succeeded in sending a political newcomer to the General Assembly to take over a Senate seat long held by Democrats. As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports Art Linares also will be one of the state's youngest Senators.

Read more
Local Taxes
3:34 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

CCM Highlights the Property Tax

An advocacy organization that represents towns and cities across the state is calling on the state to give more money to municipalities.   The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities issued a campaign bulletin intended for candidates this fall.  It makes one clear, if not new, point: Connecticut relies too heavily on the property tax. Jim Finley is CCM's executive director. "It's the most regressive tax in our state/local tax system.  It's income blind.  It doesn't matter whether you have a job or not, your property tax is due.

Read more
Where We Live
10:40 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Reporter Roundtable on House and Senate Races, Swing States

Chion Wolf

In Connecticut, we’re only one month out from an important primary in two key races.

The Senate Race has lost a bit of its drama with front-runners Chris Murphy and Linda McMahon pulling out to big leads.

Read more
Sexual Assault
7:35 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

New Law Aims To Reduce Sexual Violence On College Campuses

A host of new laws took effect in Connecticut on July 1st - among them, An Act Concerning Sexual Violence on College Campuses.

The law makes clear to all Connecticut’s colleges and universities – public and private –  what's expected in terms of sexual assault reporting procedures, disciplinary hearings, and prevention training for students and faculty.   

Anna Doroghazi of Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services says many colleges are already in compliance.  

Read more
Capital Punishment
9:09 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Legal Challenges Expected To Death Penalty Repeal

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.”  

Read more
Corporate Campaign Spending
1:53 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Connecticut Joins 21 Other States In An Attempt To Restrict "Citizens United"

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.

Read more
Sunday Sales
7:45 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Sunday Sales Begin In Connecticut

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….”

Read more
Connecticut Legislature
10:17 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Business Community Rates The Session

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.”

Read more
Education Reform
7:15 am
Wed May 9, 2012

House Approves Wide-Ranging Education Reform Bill

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. 

Read more