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Connecticut legislature

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Hemp production. It's a growing field in Connecticut... and we mean that in the most literal sense. This hour, we learn about the state's newly seeded hemp industry and consider the challenges and opportunities of farming the plant on local land. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Lawmakers will meet up in Hartford Monday to discuss bills vetoed by Governor Ned Lamont. Lamont recently vetoed three bills. One – an act requiring a study of workforce training needs in the state – includes a proposal related to wages for restaurant wait staff.

Lamont Would Ease 'Debt Diet' In Final Push For Tolls

Jul 15, 2019
Lori Mack / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont is making a final push to salvage tolls this year and its success could hinge on the limit he and lawmakers set on Connecticut’s credit card.

The governor is asking fellow Democrats to consider a scaled-back proposal that would place tolls only in strategic locations — such as aging bridges. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont is in search of a new look for his State Capitol office, and we're not just talking about the grasscloth wallpaper and new carpeting he wants to install.

Staff changes also are in the works, including a new spokesman, NBC Connecticut political reporter Max Reiss.

They Love Public Financing. The Oversight, Not As Much.

Jul 3, 2019
Michelle Lee / Creative Commons

Tense for years, the General Assembly’s relationship with the State Elections Enforcement Commission is now so toxic that clean-election advocates speak wistfully about staging an intervention, finding some way to break a cycle of recrimination they say undermines campaign-finance reforms Connecticut adopted in 2005 to national acclaim. 

Lamont: Conn Will Get Extra Income Tax Receipts Built Into New Budget

Jun 25, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont and his budget director defended their decision Tuesday to build $180 million in extra income tax receipts into the new state budget, with Lamont offering assurances the money will flow as planned into the state’s coffers. 

Jade Allen / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Ned Lamont has signed into law a bill that will provide paid family and medical leave for up to 12 weeks for all Connecticut employees. The program will be funded through a payroll tax on workers.

U.S. Air Force

"Will America Attack Iran Over One Dead Robot?" That is the question a Daily Beast headline asks in the wake of Iran downing an unmanned U.S. drone in the Gulf. This hour, we get the latest on this evolving story from reporter Adam Rawnsley and consider what it all means for the future of U.S.-Iran relations. 

Keith Allison / Creative Commons

In a tweet earlier this week, President Trump wrote that Immigration and Customs Enforcement will soon begin deporting millions of undocumented citizens.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

It was during his freshman year of high school when Sam Smith approached his doctor—he had been exploring his sexuality for a couple years.

“I was like, hey, I’m having sex with guys,” he said, recounting the doctor’s visit. “What do I do?”

Smith hoped that his doctor would suggest pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, which is a daily pill that can prevent someone from contracting the HIV virus if they’re exposed to it.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

If large corporations, like United Technologies, are increasingly eyeing urban hubs for future growth, what are we doing to put our cities at the cusp of that trend? Or more likely, what aren't we doing as a state?

This week, we take stock of what cities such as Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport have to offer CEOs looking to relocate their companies, and where they fall short. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Democratic legislators and government officials stood with a small crowd of supporters at the Legislative Office Building in March to announce that it was time that Connecticut created a public option health insurance program. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Last fall, after United Technologies Corp. announced it would spin off its Otis Elevator and Carrier divisions, then Governor-elect Ned Lamont vowed he would watch the Farmington-based conglomerate "like a hawk" to retain its workforce in Connecticut.

But this weekend's news that UTC would merge with Raytheon Co., and move its headquarters to Waltham, MA., came with little advanced notice to the Lamont administration.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Among the big-ticket items that did not pass in Connecticut's 2019 legislative session were tolls and legal cannabis. While tolls will likely be debated in a special session this summer, proponents of recreational marijuana will have to regroup and wait until next year.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

This hour we take a look at some of the environmental bills the Connecticut General Assembly passed this legislative session, including a new commitment to offshore wind power. We learn what this renewable energy source means for the state’s power grid—and its economy.

And we take a look at one essential component behind offshore wind power, a group of special metals called “rare earth elements”. What does the availability—and environmental impact—of harvesting these materials mean for our energy future?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With Connecticut's legislative session now over, there were a few bills passed that impact education issues in the state, and some that didn’t make it through.

Lamont: We'll Revisit Public Option Health Care Issue Next Year

Jun 6, 2019
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday that efforts to push through a revised public option health care bill came “too late” in the legislative session, and he pledged to revive the issue next year. 

Connecticut State Capitol / Wikimedia Commons

At midnight, the Connecticut General Assembly ended its regular session on time--and with a new two-year budget.

This hour, we look at what lawmakers accomplished and what’s still left on the table. Mark Pazniokas, Capitol Bureau Chief for the Connecticut Mirror, will join us with more.

Lamont Tells Legislators To Get Ready For Overtime

Jun 5, 2019
Gov. Ned Lamont delivered his first budget address to the legislature on February 20, 2019.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont marked the end of his first legislative session with a casual four-minute address to the General Assembly shortly after midnight Wednesday, inviting 187 lawmakers to join him for a drink in his office, and offering a wry reminder that they are coming back for special session.

The Wheelhouse: A Deep Dive Into The State Budget

Jun 5, 2019
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

With more than 24 hours to spare, the legislature's Democratic majorities on Tuesday evening delivered a two-year state budget to Gov. Ned Lamont. It doesn't raise income taxes on the rich, or deplete Connecticut's rainy day fund.

So then, just how does the $43.4 billion plan add up? And how were enough lawmakers brought on board to get it across the finish line?

A Tale Of Two Budgets: Senate Dems Back Plan Over GOP Objections

Jun 4, 2019
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

It was a tale of sharp contrasts Tuesday as the Senate gave final approval to a new $43.4 billion, two-year state budget. Majority Democrats hailed it as a historic plan that averts a big deficit without raising income tax rates, makes key investments in education and health care, and promotes long-term fiscal stability. But Republicans painted it as a sloppy blueprint that overtaxes businesses and consumers, spends and borrows recklessly, leaves Connecticut with no viable long-term transportation building program, and skirts the legal requirement of a balanced budget. 

From left, Rep. Livvy Floren, Rep, Vincent Candelora, and GOP staffer Pat O'Neil review documents as budget debate continues.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

The House of Representatives approved a new state budget late Tuesday that averts a major projected deficit without increasing income tax rates, but does shift billions of dollars in pension debt onto the next generation of taxpayers.

Lawmakers Hope To Adopt Budget Monday That Avoids Another Income Tax Hike

Jun 3, 2019
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Legislators opened the session’s final week Monday expecting to pass a new state budget that keeps income tax rates flat, expands the sales tax and raises levies on prepared foods, e-cigarettes, plastic bags, alcoholic beverages and the sale of expensive houses. 

Public Option Hits Rocks, Key Components Stripped From The Bill

May 29, 2019
Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

A contentious, late-stage proposal to create a public health insurance option began to fracture Wednesday, as lawmakers acknowledged that key portions of the bill would be stripped before the measure comes up for a vote in the House. 

ADAM WALKER CLEAVELAND/FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

A first-in-the-nation bill that would make phone calls from Connecticut prisons free is moving to the next level. 

Without Dissent, Senate Passes Police Shootings Bill

May 29, 2019
A screengrab from the first of three videos released by the chief state's attorney on Friday, May 3, 2019 depicting the moments after a police officer in Wethersfield, Conn. shot an 18-year-old driver following a traffic stop.
Chief State's Attorney

One state senator’s quiet negotiations with police chiefs and officers led to the unanimous passage Wednesday night of law enforcement accountability legislation drafted in response to the fatal police shootings of motorists in New Haven and Wethersfield.

AP Photo

It's been a half-century since the torture and eventual murder of wrongly suspected FBI informant Alex Rackney by members of the Black Panther Party. The racial tensions in New Haven that followed when party leaders were put on trial for Rackney's death led to the National Guard patrolling its streets.

In some ways, the city has changed a lot since then. But many of the social problems that provoked New Haven's angst during that period--injustices by police, substandard housing, gentrificaton, and racial disparity--remain unsolved.

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

State lawmakers in the House of Representatives passed a bill that would require schools to teach African American and Latino history to high school students. 

Supporters of the measure say it’s time for African American and Latino history to be offered as its own course in high school, and not just as a footnote in the textbooks.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

A strike threat by thousands of nursing home workers across Connecticut has been withdrawn after a large group of the nursing home facilities reached a new contract deal Friday.

'Ethan's Law' Wins Final Passage In Conn. Senate

May 24, 2019
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

The state Senate voted 34-2 on Thursday for final passage of a bipartisan gun safety bill, a relatively modest change in Connecticut gun laws sought by two Guilford parents in memory of a 15-year-old son accidentally killed with a neighbor’s firearm. 

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