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A former pharmaceutical industry official who says drug prices are too high will now be in charge of buying more medications than anyone in the world.

Alex Azar, former president of the U.S. arm of Eli Lilly & Co., was confirmed Wednesday as the secretary of health and human services.

In that role, he'll oversee the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates prescription drugs including those produced by his former employer. He'll also oversee Medicare and Medicaid, which together spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year on prescription medications.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission flickr.com/photos/nrcgov/6517600977/ / Creative Commons

A state report on Connecticut’s only nuclear plant says the Millstone Power station will be profitable through 2035, while also potentially opening up a new way for one of New England’s biggest generators to sell its power.

Mon Oeil / Creative Commons

This is one of the worst flu seasons in a decade. For the first time in thirteen years, the entire country is getting sick at the same time. While the government shutdown ended today, the two days of closure remind us what services could be lost when we most need them.

10,000 Take Part In Hartford Women's March

Jan 21, 2018

One of the over 500 Women’s Marches around the world happened in Hartford this weekend. The Hartford March focused on continued resistance to the Trump administration, getting more women into politics, and making the movement more inclusive.  

Updated at 11:16 p.m. ET

A partial government shutdown now looks inevitable after the Senate lacks the votes on a stopgap spending bill late Friday night.

The vote was 50-48 in favor of the measure with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., yet to vote.

Updated at 8:46 p.m. ET

The House passed a stopgap funding bill Thursday evening, though the measure now faces uncertainty in the Senate as Republican congressional leaders work to avert a government shutdown by late Friday night.

Republicans need 60 votes in the Senate to proceed on the four-week continuing resolution, which would extend funding only until Feb. 16. That is looking more and more difficult after most Democrats and at least three Republican senators have said they won't vote for the bill.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour: following reports of abuse by staff at Connecticut’s maximum-security psychiatric unit -- news of an order separating Whiting Forensic from Connecticut Valley Hospital. 

Coming up, we discuss the significance of the split -- including what it means for the safety and oversight of patients.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal speaking to reporters in Hartford on November 13, 2017.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is prepared to vote against a short-term funding bill that would prevent a government shutdown at the end of the week.

tanjila ahmed/flickr creative commons

Just as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he was cracking down on pot, Connecticut’s medical marijuana program announced that it was looking for more dispensaries. The challenges could just be getting started.

Mark/flickr creative commons

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is ramping up federal enforcement of marijuana laws. That could put medical marijuana businesses and patients in Connecticut at risk.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has nominated state Associate Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald to be Connecticut’s next chief justice. If confirmed, McDonald would be the first openly gay state chief justice in the country.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scrapping Obama-era guidelines that essentially removed marijuana from the list of federal drug enforcement priorities as more states legalized it.

In guidance issued Thursday, Sessions rescinded those policies and instead will permit individual U.S. attorneys to decide how aggressively to go after marijuana in their jurisdictions.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, has long viewed pot as a public menace and a source of street crime.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, who served nearly seven years in prison for corruption, filed paperwork Wednesday to launch his campaign for governor.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The race for governor of Connecticut just got a lot more interesting. Joe Ganim, former inmate, current mayor of Bridgeport, unable to qualify for state financing, has announced that he’s in the race -- and establishment Democrats are worried about him getting into a primary.

AGs Sue EPA To Enforce Smog Regulations

Dec 28, 2017

The attorneys general in eight Eastern seaboard states are suing the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency over air pollution that blows in from upwind states.  

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