Connecticut legislature

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Some of the state's municipal leaders have pushed for a change in state law that would allow them to save money and cut back on printed public notices. But it seems unlikely that lawmakers will pass a measure before the session ends on Wednesday. 

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The Connecticut General Assembly passed a budget this past weekend, which -- along with two other bits of legislation -- expands access to pre-kindergarten education. Advocates have said it doesn't reach the ideal goal of universal preschool, but it's an important step in that direction.

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School officials and health care professionals joined lawmakers at the state capitol on Thursday, touting the importance of early mental health care intervention for kids. It's a cause that's gotten increased attention since the school shooting in Newtown.

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If you had big plans for that $55 tax rebate that Governor Dannel Malloy announced in his State of the State address, think again.

This week, Malloy acknowledged this election-year plan was dead.

On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, our team of reporters will discuss the rebate, the 2014 race, Hillary Clinton's visit to UConn, and fracking legislation at the state capitol.

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A bill that would allow advanced practice registered nurses more flexibility appears poised to become a law.

The nurses, also known as APRNs, have been licensed to treat patients and prescribe medications independently since 1999, but there's been a catch. They can only do that after entering into a signed collaboration agreement with a medical doctor.

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Connecticut lawmakers are considering a ban of waste from “fracking,” the controversial method of obtaining natural gas cheaply. This comes less than a year after the state approved a major expansion of its natural gas infrastructure to capitalize on production in nearby states. Now, some are wondering whether Connecticut can avoid the environmental risks of the fracking boom.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

For the first time since declaring his re-election plans, Governor Dannel Malloy joins us in studio as the legislative session winds down. Joining him is the new commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Robert Klee.

The Malloy administration continues its push for an expansion of natural gas, which is part of its Comprehensive Energy Strategy.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy and Robert Klee, commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection appeared on WNPR's Where We Live to talk about the environment, energy, politics, and more.

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The Connecticut House of Representatives unanimously approved a measure today expanding Connecticut's concussion policy for young athletes. The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote.

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New wind energy projects can now move forward in Connecticut. Tuesday's announcement ends a three-year moratorium on wind turbines. 

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The electronic lottery game keno could come to Connecticut after all. Keno surfaced at the very end of last year's legislative session as a way to balance the new two year budget. But earlier this year, when a $500 million surplus was announced, lawmakers distanced themselves from the bingo-like game, and a bill to repeal keno seemed like a done deal.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The short state legislative session is always filled with a little bit of drama. Namely, there are the burning questions: Can lawmakers get everything done by the end of session? Will we know what’s in the bills that get passed?

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Utility regulators say independent electric suppliers in the state should be required to give consumers a clear disclosure about how much they're paying for power.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

How do you tell the difference between someone who needs to be taken to jail and someone who needs to be taken to the hospital? That’s a big concern in Connecticut, where the intersection of law enforcement and mental health has been a huge issue since the Newtown shootings of 2012. 

WNPR spent time with police officers to learn about their training in mental health.

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A bill that would allow schools in Connecticut to stock emergency medication for severe allergic reactions has been referred to the Appropriations Committee. 

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A bill that would ban the storage or disposal of waste from fracking in Connecticut is moving through the General Assembly. 

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Democrats hold the majority in the General Assembly so it’s rare when a bill endorsed by Democrats in one chamber gets defeated in the other. But that's exactly what happened this week. 

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Appearing camera ready and primed, Ted Kennedy Jr. – son of the late U.S. Senator of the same name, and nephew of President John F. Kennedy – announced on Tuesday night that he’s entering politics.  

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Two members of Connecticut's congressional delegation have launched a bill that would ban companies from marketing e-cigarettes to children.

But they ran into some vocal opposition during a press conference to launch the legislation.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Are all horses naturally vicious? The State Supreme Court didn't answer that question in its recent ruling about a horse named Scuppy who bit a toddler in 2006.

However, a majority of justices agreed that all horses are inclined to bite. This presumption has upset horse owners and equine business owners in Connecticut, who say a lot is now riding on legislation that would reduce their liability to personal injury lawsuits.

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A new analysis says large companies that allow their workers to rely on state assistance could be heavily penalized by a law currently being considered by the state legislature.

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Some municipal and state leaders would like to see non-profit colleges and hospitals pay taxes to the towns where they reside. One higher education official said the particular idea currently being floated is unfair. 

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A legislative committee is not allowing a Connecticut woman disfigured in a 2009 chimpanzee attack to sue the state and seek financial damages. 

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Three quarters of Americans nearing retirement have saved less than $30,000 for their retirement years, according to data from the New School for Social Research. Decades of stagnant incomes, an inability to save, and disappearing pensions are part of the reason.

One third of Connecticut residents are baby boomers, and state legislators are proposing a program to help them do a better job preparing for retirement.

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Charla Charla Nash was attacked by a 200-pound chimpanzee in February of 2009, while helping her employer, Sandra Herold, get her pet, Travis, back in his cage.

Nash says she was unaware of the danger that lurked.

She doesn't remember anything about the attack, just waking up in the hospital. Travis broke most of the bones in her face, he ripped off her lips, nose, eyelids, and her hands, leaving Nash in a coma for four months. Today, she's blind and lives in a rehabilitation facility at a cost $16,000 per month, an expense she'll have for the rest of her life.

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The state's daily newspapers, and its towns and cities, remain divided over how to change the state’s laws on printed legal notices.

Patients at Connecticut hospitals in 2012 contracted infections during treatment at rates “significantly” higher than the national rate. According to a report released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Connecticut patients contracted infections during or after colon surgery at a rate 27 percent higher than the national average. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

President Obama has congratulated Connecticut for becoming the first state to officially endorse his goal for the minimum wage. The General Assembly on Wednesday night passed a bill that will raise the wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017.

Americans United for Change

The Connecticut General Assembly passed a bill that would raise Connecticut's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017. The legislation makes the state the first in the nation to endorse President Barack Obama's goal for the national minimum wage.

Republican senators offered a variety of amendments to the bill, but all were been defeated.  

Chion Wolf/WNPR

There's growing tension in Connecticut between parents and guardian ad litem lawyers or GALs, who are appointed to represent minor children in child custody cases.

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