State Budget
4:39 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

What Is The State's Constitutional Spending Cap?

If you've been following the negotiations over the state budget, you've no doubt heard three words: constitutional spending cap. But do you know what they mean?...Neither did WNPR's Jeff Cohen, who brings us this report. What is the constitutional spending cap?

"The constitutional spending cap was adopted as part of a broader political agreement to get majority support for the adoption of a state income tax." That's Bill Curry, a Democrat and one-time state comptroller, talking about the law that is now two decades old.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:37 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

'Two Cheers For Anarchy'

Flickr Creative Commons, Free Grunge Textures

Today, in order to watch a Lenny Bruce monologue on YouTube, I had to sit through a Starbucks commercial. This feels like proof that some kind of fundamental battle has been lost, right? The Internet is free, but not really.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:37 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

'Two Cheers For Anarchy'

Flickr Creative Commons, Free Grunge Textures

Today, in order to watch a Lenny Bruce monologue on YouTube, I had to sit through a Starbucks commercial. This feels like proof that some kind of fundamental battle has been lost, right? The Internet is free, but not really.

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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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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:34 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Regulating Fido: Animal Laws In Connecticut

Lucy Nalpathanchil

This year the state legislature will consider bill that would forbid the outdoor the tethering of dogs between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., prohibit pet shops from selling dogs and cats bred at commercial animal mills, establish the idea of an animal advocate -- probably a law student working pro bono -- to investigate and argue for the welfare of an animal subject to cruelty, and prohibit municipalities from adopting breed-specific dog ordinances.

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Where We Live
11:12 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Government, Why Bother?

Howard Chandler Christy, 1940

It seems that money and power always get in the way of democracy. Compromise can water down idealism, but no compromise results in gridlock. So, a lot of people ask, what’s government good for?

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12:48 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Postal Service To Reduce Operations At Two Processing Plants

Diane Orson

The U.S. Postal Service has announced plans to reduce operations at two Connecticut mail processing plants this summer. That’s earlier than anyone expected, and could affect more than a thousand workers. 

There’s been talk for a long time about closing or cutting back operations at postal facilities in Wallingford and Stamford. But last year, USPS officials assured workers – and CT’s Congressional delegation -  that nothing would happen before 2014.

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Sub Base
10:30 am
Thu March 21, 2013

A Thousand Sub Base Workers Face Pay Cuts

Harriet Jones WNPR

Sequestration is already here, but most of us have yet to notice any effects. That’s not true for hundreds of people in Connecticut who work for the Department of Defense in civilian jobs. Right now they are figuring out ways to manage financially when their paychecks take a dive next month. WNPR’s Harriet Jones spoke to some of them.

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Gina McCarthy
3:36 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

McCarthy Is Obama's EPA Pick

Environmentalists are hailing President Obama's choice of Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency, partly based on work she did here in New England.

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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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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:41 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

How Shortening The Leash On Ethical Watchdogs Could Impact Connecticut

Chion Wolf

Today, we're going to get into the wonky weeds and wade in the alphabet soup about government watchdog agencies.

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3:40 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

A Lighter Moment, With Malloy, Biden, and a Bet

Vice President Joe Biden was in Connecticut to talk about gun control measures at a conference with Governor Dannel Malloy. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, an otherwise somber governor did a little bit to try and make the crowd laugh. Without the vice president in the room, Malloy gave his remarks and said that anytime you get to spend part of your day with Joe Biden is a good day.

And then he said this: "I'm going to bet that he's going to mention either his grandmother or his grandfather at some point in his talk with us." Enter the vice president.

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Where We Live
10:10 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Governor Malloy's Budget

Chion Wolf

Governor Dannel Malloy’s new budget includes some tax relief, and a promise of no new taxes.  But it’s also a document that even some in his party are calling “confusing.”  Today, where we live, we’ll try to pull apart fiction from reality in the new two-year state budget.

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2:44 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Malloy Wants To Phase Out Car Taxes

Governor Dannel Malloy presented his budget to the legislature today.  In it is at least one item intended to be attractive to the state's taxpayers.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Malloy wants to exempt most cars from the property tax. Connecticut residents pay taxes based on the value of their cars, and they pay them to the town where the vehicle is registered. Malloy says this system has been historically unfair.

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State's Mental Health Services
1:40 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

At Legislature, Mental Health Takes Center Stage

Lawmakers are hearing/heard testimony on mental health services in the state, as part of the legislature's response to the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. Patricia Rehmer had a note of caution for lawmakers.  She's the state's commissioner of Mental Health and Addition Services. "We do not have any information about the mental health or any mental health issues that the shooter in the Newtown tragedy may have.

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Gun Policy
3:04 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Conn., N.Y. Governors Want Tighter Gun Control



As we've been hearing, following the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, politicians have taken a renewed interest in gun control. The governors of Connecticut and New York have been leading the effort. Jeff Cohen of member station WNPR in Hartford reports on the proposals that are emerging.

JEFF COHEN, BYLINE: In his State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York could be a model for the nation.


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4:45 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

McMahon Campaign Workers Wear Shirts That Back Obama

Mark Pazniokas/

Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon hasn't been bashful about her efforts to attract independent voters. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, that strategy took a new turn today. McMahon clothed some of her campaign workers in purple shirts with a message: I support Obama and McMahon November 6.

A few weeks ago, McMahon released an ad encouraging people to vote both for her and for Democratic President Barack Obama. It irked even some people in her own party. Then, last week, she released her final ad that made reference to Democratic President John F. Kennedy.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:22 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

The Nose: Debating Big Bird, Strippers In A Truck, & Pulpit Politics

Trust Al Gore to come up with an out-of-left-field and yet completely plausible explanation for something people have been discussing for two days.

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Funny Looking
11:43 am
Thu August 9, 2012

The Wild History of CT's 5th Congressional District

Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives; Wikimedia

Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District is kind of funny looking.

It’s been that way since 2002, when the state lost a seat in congress and had to jam together two “normal looking” districts. This made for an epic battle for control of the seat...but it also made for one of the strangest and most entertaining political arenas in our state.

The old 5th was a simple diagonal line - stretching from Waterbury to Danbury.

The old 6th - its unhappy partner in a marriage arranged by the census - was a sprawling landscape of mostly rolling hills and suburbs.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:21 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

A Check-Up With Governor Dannel P. Malloy

Chion Wolf

Last week Dannel P. Malloy got the kind of press coverage that governors dream of. Unfortunately, he got it in New Jersey, which is not the state he governs. A columnist for the Star Ledger revisited a two-year-old flare up between Malloy and New Jersey governor Chris Christie who taunted Malloy about his tax policies which he said would drive jobs out of Connecticut and into New Jersey where he, Christie, would be waiting with open arms. 

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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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12:28 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Morning Edition: State Integrity Grade

Day on the Hill
9:02 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Lawmakers Express Cautious Support For Governor's Education Bill

Uma Ramiah

School board members held their annual Day on the Hill in Hartford Wednesday. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed cautious support for the Governor’s education proposals.

Democratic Representative and Education Committee co-chair Andrew Fleischmann outlined areas of agreement, including expansion of preschools.

"I expect we will have expansion of early childhood education. Not just the 500 additional slots the Governor’s talking about. I’m hopeful that we may be able to do more this year."

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Coming Home Project
2:07 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Defense Department Mistakes Keep Contracts From Disabled Veterans

Photo by Chion Wolf

A 2004 law requires a certain percentage of federal contracting dollars to go to small businesses owned by service disabled veterans. But a recent inspector's report from the Department of Defense finds that in 2010, more than two dozen contracts were awarded to companies that weren't eligible.  

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Coming Home Project
3:45 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

DOD Budget Proposal Could Change Mission of Connecticut's 103rd Airlift Wing

Courtesy of The National Guard

Governor Dannel Malloy and other governors signed a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta voicing their concern with the DOD's proposed budget, specifically disproportionate cuts facing Air National Guard units. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports on how the budget will impact Connecticut's force.

Major General Thad Martin of the Connecticut National Guard anticipates there will be no reduction of the 1144 Guardsmen and women who serve with Bradley's 103rd Airlift Wing.  The Defense Department releases firm numbers on Tuesday.

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Government Candidates
4:36 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Malloy And Republicans Differ On Deficit

Where We Live
9:21 am
Fri February 10, 2012

The Diplomatic Dance with Afghanistan and Pakistan

Chion Wolf

Ambassador Marc Grossman just returned from a trip around the Middle East - gathering support for a “Democratic Afghanistan.”

That meant trips to places like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar...all seen as key US allies in the region. But a notable absence from this tour was a visit to Pakistan. As a special representative to both Afghanistan and Pakistan, this omission seems to be important. He was told the Pakistani government was still reviewing its relationship with the US.

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Social Media
2:52 pm
Fri December 23, 2011

The Nose: Defriending On Facebook, North Korean Chic & Beliefs

Flickr Creative Commons, Jean Pichot

Everything contains its own opposite said the philosopher Heraclitus. From Freud and Erikson we came to understand this in terms of forbidden impulses. In his 2011 book "Boomerang," Michael Lewis dwells on the notion that Germans -- despite or because of -- their cultural obsession with order and cleanliness are also drenched -- through their sayings, idioms, folktales and riddles -- in the imagery of feces.

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