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Connecticut legislature

Gillian Flaccus / AP

At 6:30 a.m. in January on a residential street in West Hartford, it was 18 degrees outside and quiet. Most houses disappeared into the pitch-black darkness, making the lights coming from inside Anna Shusterman’s home especially bright.

“Hey, Max!” Shusterman yelled up the stairs from the kitchen.

No Hearing On Truck Tolls Or CT2030 Before Next Week

Jan 21, 2020
Chion Wolf / WNPR

House and Senate Democratic leaders said they hope to finalize a tractor trailer tolls bill at a meeting Tuesday afternoon with the administration of Gov. Ned Lamont, then schedule a public hearing for next week on Lamont’s 10-year, $19 billion infrastructure plan.

The leaders originally said they planned to make the legislation public Tuesday, but they expect some revisions after the meeting, meaning the bill’s public release is unlikely before Wednesday.

CT's Unpaid Legislator Wants To Champion Push For Lawmaker Pay Reform

Jan 17, 2020
CT Mirror

He doesn’t need the money, and the issue can be toxic. But a Democratic freshman senator from Essex plans to work this election year on building support for the first state legislative pay raise in 20 years.

And it’s a raise he wouldn’t benefit from personally because he doesn’t accept a salary from the state.

As The Workforce Ages, Lawmakers Revisit Age Discrimination

Jan 16, 2020
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

With one in four workers now aged 55 and older, Connecticut lawmakers of both parties are rallying around a relatively modest bill aimed at age-discrimination: a prohibition on employers requiring prospective employees to list their age, birth date, or graduation year on an application.

Measles, mumps and rubella vaccines are seen at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., Wednesday, March 27, 2019.
Seth Wenig / Associated Press

Lawmakers are wasting no time seeking public input on a proposal to erase Connecticut’s religious exemption from mandatory vaccinations.

They have scheduled a public hearing on the plan for Feb. 19 – just two weeks into the legislative session. A draft of the bill is expected to be released next week.

Does The Governor Have The Votes To Pass Tolls? To Be Determined...

Jan 13, 2020
Cars pass under toll sensor gantries hanging over the Massachusetts Turnpike in Newton, Mass.
Elise Amendola / Associated Press

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R- North Haven, called an impromptu press conference Monday to demand Democratic leaders in the Senate and the governor’s office show their hand about whether they have the votes to pass a transportation bill that includes tolls on trucks.

“They need to stop pretending they can pull a deal off because they can’t,” Fasano said. “It’s been talked about forever and we are no step closer to resolving this issue to the detriment of businesses and the state of Connecticut. … They had their shot. They tried the best they could. They can’t get there.”

Russ / Creative Commons

Mental health professionals on college campuses say more students year over year are seeking services for new and ongoing mental health and substance use issues. They say it’s not a bad thing that students are being proactive about their mental health -- but resources are strained. 

Senate Democrats Near 'Contingent Consensus' On Truck Tolls

Jan 7, 2020
Washington State Dept. of Transportation/flickr creative commons

The Democratic majorities of the state House and Senate cautiously edged toward consensus Tuesday on a 10-year, $19 billion transportation infrastructure plan that would charge tolls for tractor trailers on a dozen Connecticut highway bridges.

via WikiMedia Commons

More than two dozen new state laws go into effect on Jan. 1, ranging from expanded health insurance coverage and paid leave to changes in court, property and DMV rules.

Access Health CT

Judges in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans this week found that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate -- the requirement that residents buy health insurance or pay a fine -- is unconstitutional.

But they held off from saying that the entire law is invalid, sending the case back to a lower court in Texas for more analysis into which parts of the federal law can continue without the individual mandate. 

Connecticut Legislature Approves Hospital Settlement And Restaurant Law

Dec 18, 2019
Chion Wolf / WNPR

The General Assembly unanimously voted in special session Wednesday to accept the settlement of a high-stakes lawsuit in which the hospital industry claimed billions in damages from a complex taxing scheme that increased federal Medicaid reimbursements for the state without producing new revenue for the hospitals.

Conn. General Assembly Special Session On Hospital Settlement Is Dec. 18

Dec 11, 2019
Chion Wolf / WNPR

The General Assembly is convening a one-day special session next week to vote on the acceptance of a $1.8 billion settlement of a tax fight with the hospital industry and a revised version of a restaurant tip-credit bill vetoed in July, legislative leaders said Tuesday.

Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, and House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, said in separate interviews that the House and Senate are ready to take up those two non-partisan issues on Dec. 18.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

A lawsuit over trucks-only tolls in Rhode Island will continue after a federal court reversed a lower court decision to dismiss the case.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The trucking industry is pushing back against a Democratic proposal to toll only trucks in Connecticut. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Democratic State Representative Linda Orange died of cancer Wednesday. She was 69.

Debunking Connecticut's Enduring Tax Myth

Nov 21, 2019
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

It was one of the talking points casually employed last week by Patrick Sasser, a leader of the No Tolls CT movement: Why should anyone believe a suggestion by Gov. Ned Lamont that the tolls he was seeking could be temporary, when that was how the income tax was sold in 1991?

Images Money / Creative Commons

Major health care bills died in the Connecticut legislature earlier this year, including proposals for a public option insurance program, prescription drug pricing, and spending.

With health care policy shaping up to take prominence in both local and national politics next year, state lawmakers hope to get a jump-start on ways to lower health care costs and spending in Connecticut.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Democrats in Connecticut’s House of Representatives don’t see tolls on passenger cars happening any time soon, but they do see them just for tractor-trailers on bridges.

Senate GOP's No-Tolls Alternative Relies On Rainy Day Fund

Nov 14, 2019
Ragesoss / Creative Commons

The Senate Republican minority on Thursday proposed using budget reserves in a complex and creative way to finance an overhaul of Connecticut’s creaky transportation system without tolls or new taxes, inviting Gov. Ned Lamont and Democratic lawmakers to weigh those political advantages against sacrifices and risks inherent in the plan.

Lamont Rebuffed On Tolls By Senate Democrats

Nov 13, 2019

The Senate Democratic majority effectively took highway tolls off the table Wednesday as a means to leverage low-cost federal financing of Gov. Ned Lamont’s sweeping $21 billion plan to maintain and modernize Connecticut’s aging transportation infrastructure over the next decade.

Courtesy: CT Port Authority

Now that state auditors have outlined the ethics missteps and questionable spending practices of the Connecticut Port Authority, lawmakers are asking a new question about the embattled agency.

Is another legislative hearing — delving deeper into the quasi-public entity’s problems — necessary to bolster public confidence?

While Nonprofits Seek State Aid, Lamont Steers Them To Private Donors

Nov 7, 2019
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Nonprofit social service agencies have been pleading with Gov. Ned Lamont for months to share $100 million of Connecticut’s record-setting budget reserve with them.

Speaking before hundreds of nonprofit leaders Wednesday at the Connecticut Convention Center, Lamont once again dashed their hopes.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont believes the state can no longer “kick the can down the road” when it comes to funding transportation in Connecticut.

Lamont and his administration will now move forward with a plan called CT2030 that they hope will improve the state’s transportation infrastructure and significantly cut down the time it takes the average commuter to get around the state.

Mary Anne Williams

Dozens of Connecticut homes have been hoisted off the ground as the state helps pay homeowners to repair ruined concrete foundations. 

This hour, we check in on the crumbling foundations crisis that is impacting homes and homeowners. We talk with the Hartford Courant journalist behind a yearlong series on Connecticut’s ruined concrete foundations

Ng Han Guan / Associated Press

The Partnership for Connecticut has invited the public to the first “organizational meeting” of its governing board on October 18, but it’s unclear what portion of that meeting – or subsequent meetings – will be open, or what the board will be discussing. 

Build Now, Pay Later? It's Not Going To Be That Easy

Oct 8, 2019
Cars pass under toll sensor gantries hanging over the Massachusetts Turnpike in Newton, Mass.
Elise Amendola / Associated Press

As Gov. Ned Lamont fishes for legislative support for his new transportation plan, he’s dangling some juicy bait: hundreds of millions in low-interest federal loans that can rebuild infrastructure and jump-start Connecticut’s economy now — but don’t come due for 10 or 15 years.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

A day after the legislative session ended and still reeling from the defeat of a sweeping public option bill, lawmakers and Gov. Ned Lamont vowed in June to revive the health care overhaul next year. But as the General Assembly gets closer to reconvening, prospects for a resurrected public option measure are looking dim, and the debate around health care reform has shifted to cost containment, prescription drugs and reinsurance proposals that have bipartisan support. 

Lamont Offers Middle Ground On Restaurant Wage Fight

Sep 24, 2019
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Gov. Ned Lamont has asked legislative leaders to return in special session to vote on a revised version of a restaurant tip-credit bill he vetoed in July, suggesting that talks with unions, business owners and other stakeholders have produced the framework of a consensus.

Lamont, who vetoed a bill that would have stripped restaurant workers of the right to pursue claims of unpaid wages in certain circumstances, is proposing instead to limit damages they could collect from restaurants that relied on inaccurate advice from the Department of Labor in calculating tip-credit wages.

Senate Dems Say Tax Officials Inflated Prepared Foods Levy

Sep 17, 2019
Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk and Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-Haven.
CT Senate Democrats

Senate Democrats backed away Monday from the new sales tax surcharge on prepared foods, saying Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration made it far broader in scope than lawmakers intended.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont and other state leaders promised Monday they would back efforts to eliminate the state’s religious exemption for mandatory childhood vaccinations in order to preserve immunization levels and prevent disease outbreaks.

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