Connecticut legislature | Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut legislature

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

A statewide coalition of lawmakers, activists and health experts Thursday announced that health care reform will be a top priority heading into the next legislative session.

Coalition leaders at a news conference at the Capitol building said the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent election have become driving factors in reintroducing a plan for a public option health insurance program for Connecticut residents, small businesses and nonprofits. 

Democrats Pick Ritter As Speaker, Gear For COVID Session

Nov 5, 2020
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

The 16 Democrats who won their first terms as state representatives two days ago joined 82 incumbents in their first official post-election act Thursday: Endorsing Matt Ritter of Hartford as the next House speaker and Jason Rojas of East Hartford as their majority leader.

Helped By Trump, Democrats Gain In CT General Assembly

Nov 4, 2020
Tim Rasmussen / Connecticut Public

The unpopularity of President Donald J. Trump in Connecticut helped Democrats increase their sizable majorities in the General Assembly on Tuesday as close to 80% of the state’s 2.3 million voters cast ballots at the polls or by absentee.

Themis Klarides Forms New Republican PAC Geared To Party Building

Oct 18, 2020
Jacqueline Rabe Thomas / CT Mirror

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, has underscored her intention to remain politically active after leaving the General Assembly in January by forming a political action committee she says will fight one-party rule by Democrats in Connecticut.

New York Public Library

Do you know how to make an Election Cake? What about the history of the Connecticut Witch Hunters

This hour, state historian Walt Woodward joins us to talk about his new book Creating Connecticut: Critical Moments That Shaped a Great State and answer all your questions about the Nutmeg state, starting with why do we call Connecticut the Nutmeg State? 

Farewells And Bipartisan Votes In A Special House Session

Oct 1, 2020
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz presiding over what was likely his last session day as speaker.
Mark Pazniokas /

Partisanship took a holiday Wednesday as the House of Representatives confirmed judicial nominations, passed bills and bid farewell to leaders of both parties in its last scheduled meeting before a new legislature takes office in January.

Connecticut Bill Would Invite Competition To Run Energy Efficiency Programs

Sep 22, 2020
Chion Wolf / WNPR

A proposal buried at the end of Connecticut’s so-called “take back our grid” legislation would potentially make utilities compete for control of the energy efficiency programs they’ve operated for more than 20 years. 

And that has some lawmakers and contractors asking: Why?

Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

Connecticut recently passed a police accountability bill after the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Though the bill is now law, legislative candidates who oppose it are using it as a political issue.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Eversource has hardly been out of the news since the prolonged restoration of power in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias. And the latest headline concerns a $700 million loan the utility says it would like the state to underwrite. 

A sticker on the back windshield of Republican State Sen. Eric Berthel's car is a reference to the QAnon conspiracy theory.
@yungnutmeg / Twitter

This story has been updated.

A Republican state senator in Connecticut is facing questions after a photo posted on social media showed his vehicle with a sticker that is a nod to the QAnon conspiracy theory movement.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

State Republican lawmakers say Gov. Ned Lamont shouldn’t have extended his emergency powers under the pandemic for five more months.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Some of the more controversial aspects of police reform that’ve been debated on the streets of Connecticut are now law.

Police Reforms Clear Connecticut Senate On Partisan Vote

Jul 29, 2020
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A divided state Senate shouldered past the fierce opposition of Connecticut police unions early Wednesday to vote 21-15 for final passage of a police accountability bill that both capitalizes on and addresses the outrage over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Police Reform Measure Passes Connecticut House

Jul 24, 2020
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The state House of Representatives voted Friday morning to pass an ambitious proposal to reframe the training, oversight and accountability of a police profession under intense scrutiny across the U.S. since a police officer killed George Floyd two months ago in Minneapolis.

Connecticut House Endorses No-Excuse Absentee Voting For November

Jul 24, 2020
Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public Radio

An overwhelmingly bipartisan vote Thursday in support of no-excuse absentee ballot voting in November as a COVID-19 precaution blurred continuing partisan differences over permanently loosening Connecticut’s tight limits on absentee voting.

Blue Lives, Black Lives And Sharp Lines On Police Accountability Bill

Jul 23, 2020
Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

House Democratic leaders struggled Thursday to find a compromise capable of keeping its majority caucus united behind passage of a sweeping police accountability bill, a measure whose passage appeared to turn on the degree to which it limits qualified immunity for police officers.

Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

A union of Connecticut state troopers led a demonstration outside the Capitol in Hartford Thursday in support of qualified immunity, a measure that protects police officers from civil liability.

They were protesting as lawmakers began considering extensive police reform measures at a special legislative session inside the Capitol building.

David Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

State officials continue to assess the vulnerability of long-term care facilities to the coronavirus in advance of a potential second wave of infection.

The State Bond Commission approved nearly $550 million in financing for school construction, transportation and other capital projects Tuesday.

But while Gov. Ned Lamont hailed the funding as a vital infusion into Connecticut’s construction economy, a House Republican leader again charged the state with overspending despite eroding revenues and dangerously high unemployment.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A legislative committee heard overwhelming support Tuesday for proposed legislation to expand absentee ballot access for the November election to those without an excuse. 

Police Contest The First Draft Of A Connecticut Police Reform Bill

Jul 17, 2020
Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

An ambitious legislative attempt to reset Connecticut’s policing standards, training and culture in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing by police was met Friday with a mix of furious pushback from police officers complaining of a political overreaction to measured critiques by others in law enforcement who say they are ready to embrace change.

Judiciary Committee Policing Bill Is Just A Draft, Republicans Caution

Jul 10, 2020
Sen. John Kissel, Ranking Republican of the Judiciary Committee, back when committees met in real life.

Members of the Judiciary Committee formally unveiled a draft of their police accountability bill on Friday morning, a measure they’ll soon take up in a special session – and that Republicans stressed is a work in progress.

Black And Puerto Rican Caucus 'Agenda For Equity' Includes More Than Police Reforms

Jul 7, 2020
State Rep. Brandon McGee announces the agenda crafted by the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus.
Connecticut House Democrats

Members of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus added their voices Tuesday to the growing calls for systemic reforms that would make life safer and more equitable for Connecticut’s residents of color.

'Zooming' Their Way To A Special Session On Police Reforms

Jul 6, 2020
Demonstrators at a Juneteenth event at Bushnell Park in Hartford. They are demanding action on police accountability.
Yehyun Kim /

The Zoom calls last as long as four hours. They link two Democrats and two Republicans assigned to craft a bipartisan police accountability bill in the midst of the pandemic that forced Connecticut lawmakers from the State Capitol in March.

New York Public Library

Do you know how to make an Election Cake? What about the history of the Connecticut Witch Hunters

This hour, state historian Walt Woodward joins us to talk about his new book Creating Connecticut: Critical Moments That Shaped a Great State and answer all your questions about the Nutmeg state, starting with why do we call Connecticut the Nutmeg State? 

State of Connecticut

Ballot drop boxes are beginning to appear in towns and cities across Connecticut in time for the Aug. 11 primary election. All eligible primary voters will have the option to cast a mail-in or drop-off absentee ballot this year.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said the idea is to offer an alternative to in-person voting at polling places amid the pandemic. 

Senate Dems Want Broad Social Justice Agenda For July Session, Others Say There Isn't Time

Jun 19, 2020
Senator Doug McCrory, D-Hartford, (at podium) discusses broad agenda to combat systemic racism during Friday’s press conference. Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven, is on left.

Majority Senate Democrats unveiled a comprehensive platform Friday to reverse systemic racial inequalities in law enforcement, health care, housing, education and economic opportunity.

The Legislature Adjourns: No Pomp, Lots Of Circumstance

May 7, 2020
FILE: SMG Corporate services day porters wipe down and deep clean the Senate chambers while the Connecticut State Capitol is closed for cleaning on March 12, 2020 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecitcut Public/NENC

In a nearly empty State Capitol, a tiny band of legislators wearing surgical masks formally ended the 2020 session Wednesday, a concession to custom, calendar and the coronavirus.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The first woman to lead Connecticut House Republicans says she will not be running for re-election in November. Minority Leader Themis Klarides will be ending a 22-year run as the representative of the 114th district. She spoke with Connecticut Public Radio's John Henry Smith for All Things Considered.

Klarides Leaving House, Won’t Rule Out Run For Governor

Apr 21, 2020
House Republican Leader Themis Klarides

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, a potential candidate for governor in 2022, said Tuesday she will not seek another House term this fall, guaranteeing new leadership in three of the four caucuses at the Connecticut General Assembly.