Connecticut legislature

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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Sales
10:40 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Key Committee Agrees Sunday Sales

Connecticut is a step closer to Sunday alcohol sales, after a key committee voted in favor of the measure. But the bill leaves in place many protections for small package stores worried about sweeping deregulation. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

This has been one of the consuming issues in this short legislative session – one that prompted a marathon 12-hour public hearing before the General Law Committee. Republic state Senator John Kissell said it was an extraordinary day.

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Open for Business
8:12 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

How Business Friendly Is Connecticut?

Governor Malloy has declared Connecticut open for business. But many business lobbyists continue to say it’s one of the least business friendly states in the nation.  So who’s right?  WNPR’s Harriet Jones takes a look at a new analysis of Connecticut’s competitiveness.

This year’s debate over the minimum wage has crystallized a lot of views of Connecticut’s legislature as anti-business.

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At Ease
11:57 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Morning Edition: Relief At The Pump?

Greg Robleto (Flickr Creative Commons)

With gas prices in Connecticut hovering around $4/gallon for regular unleaded, Democratic leaders in the general assembly have come up with a proposal to offer some relief at the pump.

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Health Care
1:44 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Connecticut Considers Letting Health Aides Give Medicines To Homebound

Connecticut is rethinking who should be allowed to give medicines to Medicaid patients cared for at home.
iStockphoto.com

Connecticut, like every state trying to reduce health care spending, is looking closely at how it cares for people with chronic conditions.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to move more than 5,000 poor and disabled patients out of nursing homes in five years.

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Elections
9:58 am
Thu March 15, 2012

McMahon Presents Jobs Plan

Last year, Republican Linda McMahon ran unsuccessfully for the U-S Senate seat now held by Democrat Richard Blumenthal. She's running again -- this time for the seat being vacated by Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. McMahon -- the former wrestling executive -- held a press conference yesterday to present her six-point jobs plan.  The proposal includes a middle class tax cut for individuals and families, a reduction in the business tax rate, and an effort to restrain federal borrowing, debt, and spending.

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Health Care
2:31 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Connecticut Considers Letting Health Aides Give Medicines To Homebound

Connecticut, like every state trying to reduce health care spending, is looking closely at how it cares for people with chronic conditions.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to move more than 5,000 poor and disabled patients out of nursing homes in five years.

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Sexual Assault Response
2:16 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Bill Addresses Sexual Violence On College Campuses

Officials from UConn and the Board of Regents meet this week with legislators and advocates for victims of sexual assault to discuss a bill that would change the way college campuses respond to sexual violence.  

The federal Clery Act spells out how colleges and universities nationwide are expected to respond to sexual violence on campus. The Connecticut bill would make changes to the way schools hold internal disciplinary hearings, and would require prevention programming for students and faculty.

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Alcohol Sales
9:31 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Blue Law Changes Feared, Welcomed

Harriet Jones

In the past, attempts to reform Connecticut’s blue laws have been dominated by one simple issue – Sunday alcohol sales. But the bill before the legislature this year takes the debate much further. And it has the package store industry in uproar. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Here at the Legislative Office Building with the session in full swing, many of the conversations are about one thing.

“This has been such a significant issue in the building.”

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Racial Profiling
6:45 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Call To Overhaul State Profiling Law

Diane Orson

Connecticut lawmakers joined civil rights groups at the capitol Monday to call for an overhaul of the state’s racial profiling law.

This follows a federal investigation into discriminatory policing in East Haven, and a separate racial profiling report by the Hartford Courant.

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Legislative session
3:47 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Helping Victims of Domestic Violence

Connecticut legislators met on Monday to discuss how the state can do a better job helping victims of domestic violence. 

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Government Candidates
4:36 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Malloy And Republicans Differ On Deficit

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