Connecticut First

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Connecticut First
10:31 am
Tue March 18, 2014

McDonald's Workers Protest Over Wages; Lawmakers Call for Funding to Fight Heroin Addiction

Days after class-action lawsuits claimed McDonald’s Restaurants are deliberately and systematically stealing employees’ pay, workers and community leaders protested today in Hartford and New Haven. It was part of a nationwide series of actions in 40 cities calling on the fast-food giant to stop its illegal wage theft.

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Connecticut First
5:48 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Testimony Given on Aid-in-Dying Bill; Drop in Hospital Revenue

The legislature's Public Health Committee heard testimony on a bill which would allow physicians to help terminally ill patients end their lives.  It's supported by an advocacy group called Compassion and Choices, which has spent thousands lobbying for the bill---while the Catholic Church, along with the Family Institute of Connecticut, have voiced strong opposition.

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Connecticut First
5:54 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Malloy Makes Judicial Nominations; Feds Order Metro-North to Prioritize Safety

Governor Dannel Malloy nominated Eliot Prescott of West Hartford and Raheem Mullins of Cromwell to serve as judges of the Connecticut Appellate Court. Malloy also nominated 16 attorneys to become judges of the Superior Court, two to serve as Family Support Magistrates, and one to serve as a Workers’ Compensation.

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Connecticut First
6:06 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Manhattan Building Collapses; Law Proposes Shrinking Drug-Free Zones

An explosion tore through an area of Manhattan's East Harlem neighborhood early on Wednesday, collapsing two buildings. There were fatalities reported and dozens injured. All Metro-North service was suspended as all Metro-North trains in and out of New York City use the rail lines adjacent to the blast zone.

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Connecticut First
6:17 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

U.S. Attorney General Suggests Police Carry Narcan; Locked Facility for Girls to Open this Month

U.S Attorney General Eric Holder called an increase in heroin overdoses nationwide an "urgent public health crisis" and suggested law enforcement carry Narcan, a drug that can reverse opiate overdoses.  States like Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, already train first responders on Narcan.  Currently Connecticut police don't carry it - paramedics and hospital staff administer the drug.  A dramatic increase in drug overdose is a growing problem in the region but Hartford Police Department spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley believes Connecticut police officers carrying Narcan is a long way off .  

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Connecticut First
6:42 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Privacy of Information Hearings Held; Calls for Connecticut Office of Inspector General

Two legislative committees today held simultaneous public hearings on bills that would implement recommendations of a task force created after the Newtown school massacre to balance the privacy of crime victims with the public’s right to know. The task force recommended that lawmakers allow only restricted access to certain crime scene photos, 911 audio tapes and other information from homicides.

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Connecticut First
5:24 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Blumenthal Talks Rail Safety; Protecting Children from Toxic Chemicals

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut discussed his priorities for rail safety today in Hartford, in his first hearing as chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation in Washington. Blumenthal stressed the importance of renewed investment in rail infrastructure and strong federal oversight.

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Connecticut First
2:59 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Presidential Visit; Arguments Over License Plate Database

President Barack Obama visited Connecticut today where he spoke at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. The President highlighted his plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. He was joined by Governor Dannel Malloy, along with the governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.

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Connecticut First
6:12 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Metro-North Improvement Plans Emerge; Keno Repeal Gets a Hearing

Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti sent his 100-day plan to state Transportation Commissioner James Redeker on Monday. Giulietti is promising to rebuild a culture of safety at Metro-North to serve as the railroad’s "unshakeable foundation." He agreed to a 100-day plan to improve the railroad’s safety and operational performance in meeting with Governor Dannel Malloy last month.

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Connecticut First
4:35 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Governors Tout Minimum Wage; Possible Amendment to Transportation Fund

Governor Dannel  Malloy, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin spoke to reporters on a White House conference call over the weekend. The chief executives agree a higher minimum wage is critical to boosting workers’ purchasing power and strengthening the economy.  

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Connecticut First
5:46 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Lawmakers Discuss Road Treatments; State Police Start Tailgating Initiative

The General Assembly's Transportation Committee heard testimony today on a bill that would require the Department of Transportation to analyze the corrosive effects of chemical road treatments on vehicles and highway infrastructure. Connecticut Transportation Commissioner James Redeker said he'll review whether it makes sense to add rust inhibitors to the chemical road treatments.

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Connecticut First
5:00 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

President Obama Visits Next Week; Transportation Committee Hearing

President Barack Obama is coming to Connecticut on March 5 as part of his campaign to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The visit follows Governor Dannel Malloy’s heated defense of the proposal at a news conference this week in Washington. Governor Malloy urged the General Assembly to pass a bill this year that would raise the state's minimum wage after the president—in his State of the Union address-- called on Congress to implement the policy nationwide.

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Connecticut First
5:44 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

UConn Report Shows Sexual Misconduct; Holder-Winfield Wins Special Election

A report released on Wednesday questioned whether the University of Connecticut acted appropriately after learning of serious child sex abuse allegations against a former music department head. The report said Robert Miller, 66, had inappropriate contact with a middle school student in 1969. A letter in 2011 also suggested that Miller had inappropriate contact with a student, but the report said that letter was not brought to the attention of university officials until last year. No charges have been filed.

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Connecticut First
5:15 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Possible Bill on Insurance Price Negotiations; Malloy Offers Alternative to National Guard Cuts

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow the state's health insurance marketplace, Access Health CT, to negotiate prices with the insurance companies selling products through the exchange. Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, says the legislation could lead to lower prices for Connecticut consumers.

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Connecticut First
5:22 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Blumenthal, Officials Discuss Minimum Wage; Budget Surplus Slips

Federal Labor Secretary Thomas Perez joined U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, local workers and politicians in Hartford today to discuss a minimum wage increase. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25. In Connecticut the wage is higher at $8.70 an hour, and is set to increase to $9.00 next year.

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Connecticut First
3:40 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Malloy Attends Governors' Conference; State House GOP Leader Steps Down

Governor Dannel Malloy is in Washington, D.C. for meetings with President Barack Obama and governors from across the country. Malloy and a group of fellow Democratic governors met with the president today. Malloy is scheduled to participate in the winter meeting of the National Governors Association over the weekend.

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Connecticut First
5:59 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Unsanitary Conditions at VA Hospital; Bill to Ensure Connecticut Grown

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Connecticut First
5:41 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

NTSB Recommendations to Metro North; Salt Shipments Arrive

The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for speed-limit signs in more places on Metro-North Railroad and cameras in the control cabs to monitor engineers and the tracks. In a letter dated Tuesday and sent to new Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti, the agency calls for permanent signs to warn engineers in advance of areas where speed restrictions are enforced, as an additional reminder to slow down. 

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Connecticut First
6:00 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Malloy's Universal Pre-K Plans Unveiled; Metro-North Officials Meet

Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, the Executive Director of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood, appeared on WNPRs Where We Live to discuss plans for universal pre-K. Just over 1,000 seats would be added next school year for children from low-income families. Jones-Taylor said a quality pre-K program sets children up for future success. The first phase of the program would cost $13.8 million, which has been built into Malloy’s budget proposal.

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Connecticut First
6:16 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

President's Day: High Profile Connecticut Visits

"Connecticut has always been a kind of magnet for Presidents," says state historian Walt Woodward.

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Connecticut First
5:53 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Two More Storms Possible This Weekend; Connecticut Facing Salt Shortage

Connecticut residents continue cleaning up after this week’s winter storm. Two more storms may be on the way this weekend. Another low pressure system will move off the mid-Atlantic coast toward the northeast on Saturday, bringing more snow. The snow is expected to begin falling late tomorrow morning.

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Connecticut First
4:58 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Connecticut Battles a Nor'Easter; Snow Removal Budget Depleted

A winter storm has dropped heavy wet snow on Connecticut, along with rain and sleet that began in the southern part of the state overnight before moving northward. Total snow accumulations were about 10 inches in many areas. Connecticut has depleted its budget for snow and ice removal. A spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said this week that the agency has spent all $30 million on a dozen storms for the season.

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Connecticut First
5:44 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Winter Storm Heads Toward Connecticut; Kleen Energy Fire

Residents, businesses, state and local governments are preparing for another snow day. Up to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow is expected to fall. Officials with Connecticut Light and Power say the storm could threaten power lines as well as equipment. CL&P will activate its emergency response plan tomorrow morning and will have crews standing by across the state.

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Connecticut First
6:04 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Hearing Over Sexual Assaults on College Campuses; Connecticut Ranks Second in AP

The legislature’s higher education committee heard testimony on Tuesday over a bill aimed at improving sexual assault policies on Connecticut college campuses. The proposal would change how schools report sexual assaults involving both students and employees.

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Connecticut First
5:15 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Malloy Touts Universal Pre-K; More Autistic Students in Seclusion

Near the end of his State of the State address last week, Governor Dannel Malloy discussed his propsosal for universal preschool by expanding state-supported early childhood education spaces by 4,000 over the next five years. The plan is already garnering nationwide attention. Malloy said the initiative would be a first in Connecticut history.

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Connecticut First
5:30 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Developmentally Disabled Children's Caucus Meets; Himes Speaks Out for Shoreline Residents

The Intellectual and Developmental Disability Caucus met in Hartford on Friday to gather comments from state residents concerned about the long-term care of their adult developmentally disabled children. State  lawmakers  heard from many residents who worry about what will happen when they are no longer able to care for their children with autism and other disabilities. 

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Connecticut First
8:42 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Malloy Delivers State of the State; Utility Workers Helping Out

Governor Dannel Malloy delivered his State of the State Address on Thursday. The governor talked about plans to improve education, help for veterans, and tax relief. He again called for the state to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017. 

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Connecticut First
3:26 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Blast of Snow Arrives; Legislative Opening Delayed

Heavy, wet snow has blanketed the region on Wednesday, leaving up to eight inches of snow along the shoreline and up to a foot of snow in the northern part of the state. The next system to watch is Sunday night into Monday. For Wednesday evening, mostly cloudy skies with temperatures in the teens.

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Connecticut First
5:39 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Minimum Wage Increase Proposed; Delay in Common Core Standards

The day before the legislative session begins, Governor Dannel  Malloy proposed on Tuesday that the legislature raise the stage minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Malloy signed legislation that raised the minimum wage to $8.70 on January 1, and will raise it to $9.00 January 1, 2015. 

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Connecticut First
1:41 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

More Snow on the Way; Metro-North Upgrades Coming

A Winter Storm Watch has already been issued for Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning for the next snow storm that could start out as sleet and bring another eight inches of new snow. Temperatures will be in the low 20s on Monday night.

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