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Connecticut legislature

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.

Senate GOP Leader Len Fasano Not Seeking Re-Election

Apr 1, 2020
Senate GOP leader Len Fasano outlines the Republican alternative to tolls.
Mark Pazniokas /

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, is not seeking re-election, opening a fight to succeed him in a suburban New Haven district and as leader of the GOP minority in the Connecticut Senate.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Despite long odds in a session that lasts only three months, lawmakers on Thursday rolled out the newest version of their “public option” bill, saying they were not discouraged by the limited timeframe and lack of support from key Republicans and the governor.

The latest iteration of the proposal to expand government-subsidized health insurance would allow businesses with 50 or fewer employees, nonprofits of any size and labor unions to join the state-operated Connecticut Partnership plan, which already is available to municipalities.

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s red flag law could see significant changes through a new bill that would update a statute that’s been on the books since 1999. 

Lamont Administration Makes Its Push For Pot

Mar 2, 2020
Chion Wolf / WNPR

With closely choreographed public-hearing testimony by agency heads and other officials, the administration of Gov. Ned Lamont delivered a broad overview Monday of the complexities involved in trying to legalize and regulate the sale of recreational marijuana in Connecticut.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

A state bill that would levy a 35% excise tax on ammunition purchases drew a large crowd at a public hearing at the state Capitol Thursday. 

solitary confinement cell replica
Lori Mack / Connecticut Public Radio

A replica of a solitary confinement cell was displayed in the lobby of the Connecticut state Capitol Tuesday as part of an effort to reform the state’s prison system.

Legislators and visitors are encouraged to go inside the 10-by-12-foot cell, which aims to give people an idea of what solitary confinement might be like. It’s the second time in two years the cell has been at the Capitol as part of a campaign to change the practice.