Connecticut legislature

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

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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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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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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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

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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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.

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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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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.

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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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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."

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.”  

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