The General Assembly's Veterans Committee is considering a bill that could strengthen programs to keep veterans out of jail. Veterans who have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars face a variety of challenges when they return home including physical and mental health issues.
Connecticut is a strange political state. We’ve been home to (and given comfort to) mavericks and outsiders of all kinds (long before John McCain and Sarah Palin changed the way we think of mavericks). Jerry Brown was our idea of a Democratic presidential candidate in 1992. And Joe Lieberman has somehow gently landed his career on the tarmac after being reviled by both major parties.
Are there rules and mores that apply here that don’t apply elsewhere? Is our reputation for valuing party-jumping mavericks really deserved? And is it evaporating here in 2012?
With the state legislative session underway - advocacy groups are talking about their “priorities.”
And in this “education session” - many of those priorities have to do with education and funding education. Today, we’ll talk policy with two consortiums...and see if some of their ideas on state government line up with yours.
The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, or ICE, announced it will roll out a program called Secure Communities in the state this week. In New Haven, community leaders are calling on Governor Dannel Malloy to reject the initiative.
***UPDATE: Sujito Sajuti was released Friday, February 17. Immigration attorney, Rafael Pichardo says Sajuti was granted a stay of deportation meaning he can stay as long as he checks in with ICE on a regular basis. He was also granted a work authorization so he can be lawfully employed in Connecticut. Pichardo says Sajuti is looking forward to seeing his wife again. They've been apart for two months. LN
The intense publicity surrounding the recent indictment of the East Haven Police Department has prompted a police officer to ask that charges against him be dismissed.
Late last month, the federal government arrested four East Haven Police officers for engaging in systematic discrimination of Latino residents in the city. All of them have pleaded not guilty to the charges. The arrests came in the aftermath of a much-publicized investigation by the Justice Department of the East Haven Police department beginning back in 2009.
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.
A year ago, Dannel Malloy's job fell into the general categories of triage and emergency medicine. The state's finances were broken. He had to get the patient stabilized so the process of care could begin. This year, to extend the analogy, the patient is out of intensive care but not out of the woods.
Sooner or later in every American political cycle, religion rears its head. The debate over Barack Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright is still fresh in our minds. In the presidency of George W. Bush, there were many questions about the degree to which his faith shaped his policies and his rhetoric.
And now to lawmaking at the state level. In Connecticut, residents will have to do some advance planning for their Super Bowl parties. The state is one of only two that still bans the sale of all alcohol at stores on Sundays. But Jeff Cohen of member station WNPR reports, that could change.
The police commission in East Haven has voted unanimously - chief Len Gallo must go.
Chief Gallo had already said he was stepping down in the wake of an FBI investigation which resulted in four officers in the town being arrested for allegedly systematically terrorizing Latinos in the community.
Mayor Joseph Maturo fanned the flames of this ugly chapter in East Haven history with his remarks about tacos...and now the national and international news has been focused on this shoreline community.
I was appalled by the now famous taco comment by East Haven mayor Joe Maturo. The mayor had two jobs to do when the story broke last Tuesday about the arrests of four policemen. He had to assure the world that he was taking it seriously and that East Haven was not a hotbed of both casual and systematic prejudice against Latinos. He did not merely fail to do either. He accomplished the polar opposite of each. The impact was worsened by the moment itself. A Latino reporter was asking a serious question about Latino issues.
First Lennie Gallo, an aspiring New Haven police chief, was exiled to the animal shelter—because his boss said he couldn’t be trusted with humans. He reemerged as chief of next-door East Haven—where he’s now the center of a federal probe into alleged evidence-tampering that goes far beyond harassing Latinos.
President Obama warned that "the basic American promise is at risk" in last night's State of the Union address. Mr. Obama offered what he called a blueprint for an economy that's built to last. Joining us by phone to get his assessment is U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.
The lead story in today's New York Times is the second donation, by one married couple, to a Super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich. Miriam Adelson gave $5 million. Her husband Sheldon had already given he same amount.
Congressman Jim Himes is getting ready for another battle over unemployment benefits and a payroll tax cut...while trying to keep open a Social Security office in his district. We talked to him about these issues, but he’s also been weighing in on SOPA and PIPA - the anti-piracy bills that have been dubbed “internet killers” by critics.
Ralph Nader’s not getting into this year’s presidential race...but that doesn’t mean he’s sitting it out.
The consumer advocate and past presidential candidate has talked this year of a “progressive/libertarian” alliance with Ron Paul, another polarizing figure who’s selling outrage as a key commodity in his race for President.
Nader’s outrage against corporate America - and the politicians of both parties that align with them - takes the form of a new book, “Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism.”
Today's show was sort of a political grab bag. We drilled down -- that might be the first time I've ever used that expression -- on the subject of political endorsements, which are flying around fast and furious right now. We'll also alighted briefly on the issue of reapportionment, which is winging its way to the State Supreme Court.
Income inequality stands to be the biggest issue - not just of the next election cycle - but of the next decade. Why? Well, the rich just keep getting richer - a new study released by Connecticut Voices for Children shows that over a four year period, the highest wage earners in the state have seen their income sharply increase - even through a recession - while middle-class workers struggle by, making about the same.
Hartford officials say they will likely miss their February deadline for picking a new person to run the police department. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the current police chief's tenure ends December 31st. Daryl Roberts is leaving after 30 years on the force and more than five years as the city's chief. He announced his retirement in September -- just before Mayor Pedro Segarra released the results of an outside investigation that said the police department had serious management issues.
It's been a good year for Connecticut's Working Families Party. In Hartford, the party won all three of the city council's minority seats and sidelined Republicans. And at the state capitol, it won a major victory with the passage of paid sick leave. But the party is now looking to the future. The Working Families Party tries to match its name -- and advocate for issues that matter to the state's working families. One of those issues was paid sick leave for service workers. Last session, with Democratic support and over the objection of state Republicans, it won that battle. Now... "There have been people in the state legislature who've are coming to us now and are saying, well, that was cool, what do we do next? "
Governor Dannel Malloy has announced a new chief of staff. Mark Ojakian will start the job in January. Ojakian will take the place of Tim Bannon, who Malloy says is leaving as planned after a year on the job. Ojakian was the governor's point person in labor negotiations. "His work negotiating with the state employees union was critical to our plans to reinvent Connecticut state government and even more critical to our budget plans. And while it was a bruising and often frustrating endeavor, in the end, we got what we needed. And in large part we got what we needed because of his superior skills." Malloy says one of those skills proved especially useful. "Well, he's got a lot more patience than I do -- probably is the best way to put it."
In Hartford, the goal of city Democrats was to have a new council president by Thanksgiving. But that time has come and gone and there still is no consensus on who will lead. Most of the time, it doesn't really matter who the president of the Hartford city council is. Except, of course, when it does -- like last year, when Pedro Segarra went from council president to mayor. He was filling the seat left vacant by convicted former Mayor Eddie Perez.
A day after a leading national Democrat endorsed her opponent, Susan Bysiewicz says she's happy to play the role of the Washington outsider in her run for U-S Senate. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Bysiewicz held a conference call to talk about her policy priorities and some political strategy.