Connecticut legislature

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

ProgressOhio

http://cptv.vo.llnwd.net/o2/ypmwebcontent/Betsy/HRI%20Counihan.WAV

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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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.

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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….”

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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.”

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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. 

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Same Day Registration & Voting
1:55 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Election Day Voter Registration is Coming

College Readiness
4:11 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Bill Aims to Cut Remedial Classes in Connecticut Colleges

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.

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Where We Live
10:10 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Legislative Update With Keith Phaneuf

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.

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Student Debt
2:34 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Interest Rates On Some College Loans To Double In July

Unless Congress acts, interest rates on certain college loans are set to double this summer.  WNPR looks at what that would mean for Connecticut students.

More than 84 thousand college and university students in Connecticut had subsidized Stafford student loans last year.  Their interest rate was 3.4% thanks to the College Cost Reduction and Access Act which locked in a low rate for four years. 

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Education Reform
6:57 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Work Continues On Compromise Education Reform Bill

Lawmakers continue to work on a compromise education reform bill that they hope Governor Malloy and the legislature can agree on.  One key lawmaker believes the two sides are not that far apart.   

Administration officials have been meeting behind closed doors with top leaders to craft the next version of Governor Malloy’s education reform package.  In March, lawmakers made significant changes to the original proposal, including a delay in overhauling teacher evaluation and tenure.

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Going Postal?
11:33 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Morning Edition: Salvaging the Post Office

James Yu (Flickr Creative Commons)

Joe Lieberman has joined a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators with a plan to revamp the United States Postal Service.

The independent senator from Connecticut says contrary to what some of his colleagues may believe, the U.S. Postal service still provides a vital service, and is worth saving. "563 million pieces of mail are delivered everyday by the postal service," said Lieberman. "A lot of packages including vitally important packages containing for instance, prescription drugs are delivered by the postal service so we've got to keep it alive."

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Minimum Wage
10:13 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Minimum Wage Proposal Passes Appropriations Committee

Another committee of the Connecticut legislature has approved plans to raise the state’s minimum wage. The appropriations committee passed the bill 29 to 20 on Friday afternoon. As the bill now makes its way to the full house, advocates are highlighting small businesses that support the measure. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Tax Structure
9:40 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Complex State Taxes Holding Back Business Growth

Business advocates told an official hearing this week that Connecticut’s tax structure is too complex and too changeable. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Land Ut-Oh!
11:32 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Morning Edition: The End Of The Land Swap

Nancy Eve Cohen

Last year the state legislature and Governor Dannel Malloy approved a controversial land swap deal in Haddam. Now, the developer who initiated the swap has now withdrawn from the deal.

Riverhouse Properties offered 87 acres of forest land in the Higganum section of Haddam in exchange for 17 acres of state owned open space along the Connecticut River. After years of resistance from environmentalists and town officials, the state okayed the land swap deal during the 2011 legislative session.

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Capital Punishment Reform
7:42 am
Wed April 4, 2012

State Senate To Vote On Death Penalty Repeal

The state senate is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill to end Connecticut’s death penalty.

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Pumpin' The Brakes
1:56 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Morning Edition: Gas Gross Receipts Tax Bill Signed

Michael Kappel (Flickr Creative Commons)

Governor Malloy signed a bill today that caps the gross receipts tax on the wholesale price of gasoline. The law will give drivers a small break at the pump.

The legislation was unanimously approved last week by the General Assembly. The governor waited until today to sign the bill to give Connecticut businesses affected by the law time to adjust their computer systems.

The law caps the gross receipts tax at $3 per gallon wholesale. Currently the wholesale price is about $3.20 per gallon, which means a savings at the pump of a little over a penny.

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Gas Prices
2:41 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Swipe Fees Hit Retailers, Customers

Harriet Jones

As the price of gas climbs past $4 a gallon, there’s another phenomenon you may well have noticed at the pump – the re-emergence of cash and credit pricing. It comes as some retailers renew the push for legislation to curb credit card swipe fees. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

It’s a busy lunchtime at J & A Gas and Go, a filling station on the main drag into Manchester.  And while most customers simply swipe their cards at the pump, some come inside before filling up.

“I’m getting gas – how much? -- five on two …..”

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School Arrests Reform
8:27 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Bill Aims To Reduce School-Based Arrests

A bill aimed a reducing the numbers of Connecticut students arrested at school passed a legislative committee this week. Supporters of the measure say too many kids are being arrested for low-level, non-violent offenses.

Connecticut Judicial Branch data show that nearly 20% of the cases that ended up in juvenile court during the first six months of the current academic year began when kids were arrested at school.  

"41% of those were for breach of peace or disorderly conduct."

That’s Hannah Benton, staff attorney with the Center for Children’s Advocacy.

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School Reform
6:30 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Ed Committee Passes Revised School Reform Bill

The legislature’s Education Committee has passed a revised version of Governor Malloy’s proposed school reform bill.  

Speaking before last night’s vote, co-chair Andrew Fleischmann said members of the education committee respect the Governor’s broad vision on school reform and sought to fine tune and improve the measure.

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