Connecticut legislature | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Connecticut legislature

Lamont Signs Connecticut’s Marijuana Legalization Law

23 hours ago
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

The marijuana law signed Tuesday by Gov. Ned Lamont makes the adult use and possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana legal in Connecticut on July 1, but the administration says that retail sales are not expected until late 2022.

On 50th Anniversary Of War On Drugs, Connecticut Legalizes Marijuana

Jun 17, 2021
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

The Senate voted 16-11 Thursday for final passage of a bill legalizing the production, sale and possession of recreational cannabis in Connecticut, bringing down the curtain on a frantic finish to a campaign that steadily unfolded over a decade. 

Connecticut House Approves Recreational Marijuana; Senate To Vote Thursday

Jun 16, 2021
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

The House of Representatives voted 76-62 Wednesday for legislation that would create a legal market for recreational marijuana in Connecticut, overcoming a threatened veto over an 11th-hour effort to rewrite the rules for awarding valuable licenses for cultivation and sales.

Connecticut Senate Passes Cannabis Bill, Governor Vows Veto Over Changes

Jun 15, 2021
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

Questions of profit, preference and equity brought Senate debate of cannabis legalization bill to a dramatic halt Tuesday, with the office of Gov. Ned Lamont vowing a veto over new language broadening the eligibility of applicants for licenses to produce or sell marijuana.

The Connecticut State Capitol Building
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

From 24-hour-long zoom public hearings to a Capitol closed to the public, 2021’s legislative session was like no other.

This hour, we recap what happened in the Connecticut General Assembly, and find out what legislation passed and what didn’t.

Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

Mothers and wives of loved ones who have spent time in prison, and the formerly incarcerated themselves, gathered outside the Capitol on June 7 to celebrate.

In the previous 48 hours, the House and Senate had passed a bill that would limit the Department of Correction’s use of solitary confinement, a victory decades in the making for community members who have long fought to end the practice. Stop Solitary CT called a rally to implore the governor to sign the bill.

CT Senate Gives Final Approval To $46.4 Billion State Budget

Jun 9, 2021
The Connecticut State Capitol Building
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

The Senate overwhelmingly adopted the new $46.4 billion, two-year state budget Wednesday evening, sending the package to Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk with strong bipartisan support.

The Democrat-controlled chamber voted 31-4 to approve the package, which makes major new investments in municipal aid, education and human services, avoids major tax hikes, and delivers tax relief to working poor families.

Speaker Pledges Passage Of Marijuana Legalization Bill In Special Session

Jun 9, 2021
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

House Speaker Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, pledged that the House will pass a bill legalizing recreational marijuana in a special session after failing to negotiate a limit to the debate that might have allowed passage before the annual session reached its adjournment deadline of midnight Wednesday.

YouTube

Patty Bausch isn’t a Medicaid expert, lawyer or medical professional. But she still thinks Connecticut legislators need her input when they consider bills affecting people like her — the roughly 18,000 residents who live in the state’s nursing homes.

House Adopts $46B Budget That Avoids Tax Hikes

Jun 9, 2021
CTMirror.org

The House of Representatives approved a $46.4 billion two-year state budget shortly after midnight Wednesday that avoids major tax hikes, pumps huge new dollars into municipalities and social services and tax relief for the working poor and for restaurants.

House Passes Highway Usage Tax On Large Commercial Trucks

Jun 8, 2021

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives approved a new highway usage tax on large commercial trucks Tuesday to bolster Connecticut’s ongoing rebuild of its transportation network.

Senate Narrowly Votes To Legalize Marijuana In Connecticut

Jun 8, 2021

With an unexpectedly close 19-17 vote, the Senate passed legislation early Tuesday that would legalize recreational marijuana in Connecticut, sending the bill to a closely divided House of Representatives on the penultimate day of the legislature’s 2021 session.

It was unclear if the House had the votes, time or inclination to attempt final passage before the constitutional deadline of midnight Wednesday, a task that grew more difficult Monday with concerns over attempted favoritism on licensing growers.

Tong: Original Urban Investment Plan Would Likely Violate CT Constitution

Jun 7, 2021
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A plan to give a nine-member state panel broad authority to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in state tax receipts in poor cities likely would violate the state Constitution, Attorney General William Tong said Monday.

File photo of Gov. Ned Lamont and his budget adviser, Melissa McCaw.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Gov. Ned Lamont and legislative leaders didn’t reach a deal Friday on a new two-year state budget, but they claimed that next step was just around the corner.

Though details remain to be ironed out, Lamont, House Speaker Matt Ritter and Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney said they resolved differences involving municipal aid and the spending cap.

Nearing A Budget Deal, Lamont, Democratic Leaders Compromise On Taxes

Jun 2, 2021
Chion Wolf / WNPR

While state officials continued to creep closer to a budget deal, another key piece appeared to fall into place Wednesday: a state income tax cut for middle class families — but not until 2024.

The package also includes relief for Connecticut’s struggling restaurants, but much less than was originally proposed. Meanwhile, tax increases on wealthy households and a new digital media levy are out.

Bullets Hit Connecticut State Capitol Building

Jun 1, 2021
Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

State legislators returned to the state Capitol on Tuesday to learn that the Hartford landmark had been damaged by gunfire, most likely early Monday or Tuesday when the building was unoccupied, officials said. Damage appeared to be caused by two or three rounds.

Photo of State Senator Dennis Bradley
Courtesy: Senate Democrats

Some see State Senator Dennis Bradley as a rising star in Bridgeport-area politics.

Now, he faces federal conspiracy and wire fraud charges.

Several politicians from Bridgeport have faced corruption charges in recent years. We talk with a community leader about the political culture in Connecticut’s ’s largest city.

We want to hear from you. Are you a Bridgeport resident? What’s your reaction to the arrest of Senator Bradley?

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Up until last year, 22-year-old Yenimar Cortez spent her whole life growing up without health insurance.

“In high school, I started realizing my mom, when she was struggling to pay to take us to checkups,” she said. “We would go to free clinics when we were younger as well. We had to wake up really early and make sure we got in line, because if they had no spaces, you couldn’t go.”

Photo of State Senator Dennis Bradley
Courtesy: Senate Democrats

State Sen. Dennis Bradley and his campaign treasurer turned themselves in to U.S. Marshals Tuesday. Bradley and Jessica Martinez were arraigned on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Image from CT-N.

The General Assembly's Public Health Committee has handled some of the most emotional and hotly contested issues of the session. 

Lawmakers held a 24-hour public hearing filled by parents opposed to vaccines.  Some of those same parents rallied outside the state capitol as lawmakers voted to end religious exemptions to school vaccine requirements .

Some legislators on the panel choked up as they described their personal experiences with the loss of loved ones during debate on a failed bill that would have allowed terminally ill patients to request life-ending medication. 

The day before the show, the committee's leader presented a bill to the state Senate that promotes a different way of looking at racism -- As a public health crisis.  

This hour, we speak to that committee leader.

Connecticut House Endorses Early Voting In Bipartisan Vote

May 6, 2021
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

House Democrats and Republicans clashed in dueling news conferences Thursday about whether expanding absentee voting would lead to fraud, then they largely united behind another ballot access issue: endorsing a constitutional amendment allowing in-person early voting.

Keith Phaneuf / CTMirror.org

This hour, we speak with the top Republican in the state house the next steps after a fight in the state House over a vaccine bill. The proposal would end the practice of allowing parents to avoid vaccination for their children by claiming religious objections. The house approved the measure, but it has yet to come up for a vote in the senate. Also, is the governor doing the right thing, by planning to end most COVID-19 restrictions next month?  

Rep. William Petit, left, and Rep. Jonathan Steinberg debate a bill curtailing religious exemptions for school-age vaccinations.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

The state House of Representatives approved a bill early Tuesday that would remove Connecticut’s religious exemption from mandatory school vaccinations, a major step for a hot-button proposal that has been raised three years in a row with no vote in either chamber until this week.

Tim Rasmussen / Connecticut Public

Twice this week, unionized workers have shut down streets around the capitol in protest of Gov. Ned Lamont’s state budget plans.

Most recently, long-term care workers and members of New England Health Care Employees Union District 1199, SEIU staged a picket Thursday afternoon outside the state Office of Policy and Management in Hartford. 

Courtesy: House Dems

Connecticut lawmakers are considering two cannabis legalization bills. Gov. Ned Lamont is backing a Senate bill, which was voted out of the Judiciary Committee this week. The other is a House bill. Rep. Robyn Porter has championed that measure, which was voted through to the House for debate in late March.

A gated mansion in Westport, where 3.4% of housing is considered affordable.
Monica Jorge / CT Mirror

The last day of March was a big day in the legislature for the future of affordable housing and desegregated neighborhoods in Connecticut. The General Assembly’s Planning and Development Committee moved forward to the House and Senate a few measures aimed at achieving more equitable housing access statewide. An organization that championed some of the measures is Desegregate CT.

Kelan Lyons / CT Mirror

The state Department of Correction has decreased the prison population by about 3,500 during the pandemic, making it the lowest it’s been in over 30 years. But criminal justice advocates are calling for better care for those still behind bars -- specifically a reform to solitary confinement, or what the system calls “administrative segregation.”

Slots at Mohegan Sun, where every other machine is closed to promote social distancing during the pandemic.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Connecticut inched closer to legalizing sports betting and online gambling Wednesday with votes by a legislative committee to send gaming-expansion bills to the floors of the Senate and House of Representatives.

If the ‘Clean Slate’ bill is passed, Carrie Perez’s drug use records will be automatically expunged. “Freedom,” she said. “I’m free from addiction right now… I don’t wake up in the morning and think about drugs today."
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

Carrie Perez didn’t realize she was homeless until someone asked her where she got her mail sent.

She’d run away from her Bridgeport home when she was a teenager. By the time she was 23, she was living on the streets, struggling with heroin use and in and out of jail for drug-related crimes. She said she has racked up 33 criminal convictions, all of which were related to her drug use.

Quinn Dombrowski / Creative Commons

Connecticut lawmakers will consider a bill that would extend parental status to nonbiological, unmarried and same sex couples for the children under their care.

Proponents told the state judiciary committee that the Connecticut Parentage Act would fill the gaps in the existing state law and ensure equal protection for these nontraditional parents to have custody, parenting time and legal and medical decision making. It also ensures that children are connected to their parents' health care.

Advocates argue that the current law is outdated and unconstitutional.

Pages