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Federal lawmakers spent the weekend working on ways to break the standstill in budget talks. While there is still hope that lawmakers can come up with a package of spending cuts and taxes, including President Obama's $4 trillion so called grand bargain, with an August 2 deadline quickly approaching, a simple raise of the debt limit, as proposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be the more likely outcome.

Here to talk about reaction from Connecticut's congressional delegation is the Connecticut Mirror's Washington correspondent Deirdre Shesgreen.

Big City Violence

Jul 14, 2011
Chion Wolf

The number of violent crimes in the US dropped significantly last year to the lowest rate in 40 years.

But then why haven’t Connecticut cities like Hartford and New Haven been able to join this trend?  

J Holt

If you imagine a summer camp based on a farm, kids learning about crops and barnyard animals probably come to mind. But profit margins and business plans? Not likely at the top of the list. WNPR’s J Holt brings us a story of one farm taking camp in a new direction.

The city of Bridgeport is the latest struggling school district to be taken over by the state.

The Board of Education in the city has essentially voted to dissolve itself - to be replaced by an oversight board hand-picked by the State Department of Education.

Chion Wolf, WNPR

Deficit cutting negotiations with President Obama and Congressional leaders continued yesterday with no apparent progress.  Time is running short to raise the government's debt limit.  We talk to Congressman John Larson about the impasse.

Flickr Creative Commons, Håkan Dahlström

What's the hardest and scariest sports event in the world?

Chion Wolf

A new Pew study says the sluggish recovery from the “Great Recession” has been better for men than women.

But in the context of  the June recent jobs report that shows only 18,000 new jobs were created nationally - it might signal continued bad times for both sexes.

Olmsted's Legacy

Jul 8, 2011
creative commons

Flickr Creative Commons, brainchildvn

Everybody knows who Paul Marcarelli is. They just don't know they know.

Where We Live: Roundtable On Shared Sacrifice

Jul 1, 2011
Chion Wolf

Connecticut’s special legislative session ended last night with a budget deal.  But, believe it or not - this still might not be over.

Governor Dannel Malloy and state lawmakers agreed on a package to plug the last $1.6 billion dollar hole in the state budget with up to 6500 layoffs in the state workforce.  

It’s something neither Malloy, nor the Democratically controlled legislature...nor union leadership wanted to see happen.  But the union vote to reject a concessions package has seemingly sealed the deal.

No 4th of July recess for the US Senate as they try to hammer out a deal on the debt ceiling.  We talk to Deirdre Shesgreen, the Connecticut Mirror's Washington Correspondent about the action at the Capitol.

Morning Edition: Special Session Looming

Jun 30, 2011

With only hours to go before a new fiscal year, The General Assembly convenes a special session today to deal with a 700 million dollar hole in the state budget. That hole was left after the state's unionized workers voted against a concessions package that would have saved the state 1.6 billion dollars over two years. Joining us by phone this morning is State Senator Edith Prague, she is the chair of the legislatures Labor and Public Employees committee.

Chion Wolf

OK, I know this might not be as easy and fun as yesterday's show on comic books, but if the current state budget were a comic book, it would be about a dystopian future. (And present for that matter ...)

The state constitution requires that the budget be balanced by Friday. It isn't. The plan for doing that included significant givebacks by the state employees. They wouldn't do it.

Chion Wolf

Hartford is at a time of transition. Recovering from corruption, transforming its education planning for the future.

Today, Where We Live teams up with The Hartford Public Library for “The Year Ahead: A Conversation with Hartford’s State Legislators.” 

We'll be talking with members of the state congressional delegation from the city. They'll share their thoughts about the state of Hartford, and what lawmakers are doing to solve some of the city’s problems - from violence, to education scores, to literacy rates.

The capture of Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger puts an end to a long manhunt - but it brings up questions about his dealings with the FBI.

Despite his disdain for “rats” - Bulger, now charged with 19 murders and implicated in countless other crimes, was an informant with the FBI for years.  He developed a special relationship with agent John Connolly that allowed him to keep committing crime - and gave him a chance to flee in 1995.  

Unions Struggle For Resolution

Jun 28, 2011

State employee Union leaders met with reporters yesterday to discuss what options are still available to them now that enough rank and file union members voted to kill an agreement with Governor Dannell Malloy that would have saved the state 1.6 billion dollars over the next two years. Governor Malloy says thousands of state employee layoffs could begin as early as next week. Joining us by phone this morning is Larry Dorman.

Flickr Creative Commons, Jan Seifert

Today, the Supreme Court struck down an Arizona public financing law similar to the one in Connecticut. But campaign finance reform can be a little dry and hard to follow, so first, a little colorful history:

Remembering Bob Hohler

Jun 10, 2011
Catie Talarski

Wrapping Up The Session

Jun 9, 2011
Chion Wolf

Connecticut’s legislative session has drawn to an end….on time. 

Yeah, really.  Governor Dannel Malloy did a little bit of celebrating, shortly after midnight, then called for a special session on job creation and declared that education reform should be the priority of the next legislative session.

Connecticut Mirror Political reporter Mark Pazniokas has called the governor’s style “hyperkinetic.”  We’ll look at what got done during this first act of his administration.

Cutting The Deficit, Interactively

Jun 7, 2011

Connecticut's first district congressman, John Larson, will host a forum this afternoon at the University of Hartford that hopes to accomplish what Congress can't seem to - namely cutting the national deficit.

Roundtable On Restructing, Consolidating, Rebuilding

Jun 3, 2011
Chion Wolf

So, the state legislative session’s about to end, and we’ve got a balanced budget, and all is right with the world - right?

Judging by his press conference with reporters yesterday, Governor Dannel Malloy thinks there’s still work to be done.  He told state workers that if they don’t ratify the concessions package he’s hoping with plug the budget hole - there will be layoffs.  Lots more than the 4700 that were already threatened.  

The story is familiar from the work of Charles Dickens. A young person with little means is placed under the care of a family member who in turns sells or trades the young person to a man who is up to no good.

The state House of Representatives has approved a bill that would allow some prisoners to get out of jail early. The Senate passed a version of the bill last week. 

ISAF Public Affairs

Last Friday marked the 60 day mark of U.S. military involvement in Libya. That's significant because without Congressional authorization for the military presence in Libya, President Obama is in violation of the War Powers Act. We talked to the Washington Correspondent for the Connecticut Mirror, Deirdre Shesgreen. 

Read CT Mirror Article:

Some in Congress growing restive over U.S. involvement in Libya 

susteph, creative commons

May is “Preservation Month” in Connecticut - and preservationists just celebrated a six-year milestone.

The wide-ranging Community Investment Act was signed into state law in 2005.  It increases investment in the areas that preservationists have shown the most concern about - open space, farmland preservation, historic preservation and affordable housing.

Chion Wolf

President Obama is in New London today, and in Hartford, legislators and state employees are still chewing over the agreement crafted by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's team and the unions.

Today on our show, we'll look at two chief executives facing very different kinds of crossroads.

Roundtable On Budget, Bills, Bargaining

May 13, 2011
Chion Wolf

Late night meetings on union concessions; layoff notices rattling the state workforce; and a “plan B” that stands for bad news in state government. 

Capitol reporter Brian Lockhart says “Plan B” - prepared by budget chief Ben Barnes - also stands for “bursting bladders” for motorists if Governor Malloy closes seven rest stops… and it could mean bus fare increases to make up for huge cuts in the Department of Transportation.

Attorney General George Jepsen

May 11, 2011
Chion Wolf

George Jepsen’s predecessor was well known for being “media savvy” – and that’s a nice way to put it.

In fact, Attorney General - now Senator - Richard Blumenthal still jokes with reporters that he would show up for “a garage door opening.”  He also blasted the media daily with announcements, soundbites and press conferences.

Flickr Creative Commons, eviltomthai

It seems you can't win with fish.

Bridgeport Small Business Breakfast

May 4, 2011

Connecticut lawmakers have passed a new, two year budget that raises taxes - and is counting on union concessions.  What will it mean for small business?

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