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Connecticut legislature

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Connecticut lawmakers voted to advance three bills that would legalize the retail sale and possession of recreational marijuana Monday.

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Connecticut's Safe Haven Law has been on the books since the year 2000 -- but supporters say it needs to be better known. The law allows a parent to legally and confidentially leave an infant at a hospital emergency room within 30 days of giving birth, if they are unable to care for it. 

Antonia Ayers-Brown / Connecticut Public Radio

Near a fleet of glossy parked vehicles in a Wallingford Toyota showroom, Fredina Mendez sits in the corner at a manicure table. Her job is to offer manicures to people waiting for their cars to be serviced. She thinks it’s a great customer service idea, but it’s not her dream job. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

One by one, people bundled up in long coats, hats and scarves made their way down into the basement of the Center Church Parish House in New Haven on a Wednesday afternoon.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Many Connecticut lawmakers have said that if the state legalizes cannabis, it would be only right to expunge the records of state residents who have cannabis-related convictions. But that may be easier said than done.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

The option for terminally ill residents to choose when and how they they die isn’t coming to Connecticut this year.

The state Public Health committee did not hold a vote on a medical aid-in-dying bill Monday, which means it won’t advance by Wednesday’s legislative deadline.

Supporters of the proposal called the decision “beyond disappointing” while those who are against the idea say it’s a relief that the bill won’t go any further.

Mark/flickr creative commons

With recreational marijuana on sale in Massachusetts, Connecticut lawmakers are looking at legalizing recreational cannabis more seriously than ever.

Lamont Tours Essex School To Promote Consolidation

Mar 31, 2019
Adam Hushin / Connecticut Public Radio

Students at Essex Elementary School received a visit from Governor Ned Lamont in their classroom on Friday, as he continues to push for districts to consider consolidating services. Lamont was touring the collaborative preschool program between the towns of Chester, Deep River, and Essex that has been running for 20 years, and -- according to his office -- has proved to be a significant saving for taxpayers. 

An employee in the software development department of DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports company, walks past screens displaying the company's online system stats in Boston in September 2015.
Stephan Savoia / AP

Sports betting could soon be available at your fingertips.

Connecticut lawmakers could grant state residents the ability to gamble on their phones if they legalize sports betting.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The state Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Gov. Ned Lamont's controversial choice to run the Department of Economic and Community Development. David Lehman's nomination has been criticized by lawmakers of both parties, mostly because of his previous job at the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs and its role in the 2008 financial crisis. 

Former WCCC-FM radio host "Sebastian" is now a handicapper, giving sports betting advice to customers. He was once arrested on illegal gambling charges.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

If you log onto some overseas website to bet on sports, or you do it through a bookie at the local bar, or even if you and your buddy have $20 riding on the Giants/Cowboys game, you’re betting illegally.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Medium cardboard boxes take up the surface of a side table in Dr. Raul Pino’s office on Capitol Avenue in Hartford. They’re filled with picture frames, certificates, documents and other items that for the last three years have decorated the room.

Pino is spending his last few days in office as the state commissioner of the Department of Public Health by taking care of loose ends and preparing a smooth transition for the new commissioner appointed by Gov. Ned Lamont last month.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

"Treasonous" is a word President Donald Trump is now using to describe claims that he or those in his orbit conspired with Russian officials during the 2016 election. His re-election campaign is urging television news outlets to have second thoughts about booking some of the president's harshest critics, including Connecticut U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

John Locher / AP Photo

Last year, the United States Supreme Court opened the door for states to make it legal to bet on sports. More recently, Connecticut lawmakers voted to send a bill that would legalize sports betting to the floor of the state legislature. But what could legalized sports betting look like here in the Land of Steady Habits? To answer that question, let's take a look first at neighboring Rhode Island, which debuted sports betting in November.

bmJi / Creative Commons / Flickr

High rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic health conditions have doctors supporting local, state and national policies on reducing the amount of sugary beverages that kids drink.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Between public testimonies on whether or not Connecticut should legalize recreational marijuana, legislators also heard from patients and health care providers Friday on proposed changes to the existing medical marijuana program.

Among them is a plan to add opioid use disorder as a condition that would qualify for treatment with medical cannabis, but many doctors testified against the idea, citing a lack of medical study.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut is one step closer to bringing tolls back to the state. The legislature's Transportation Committee voted in favor of moving forward three bills related to tolling, including Governor Ned Lamont's plan that would put tolls on interstates 91, 95 and 84, as well as portions of Route 15. 

Susan Haigh / Associated Press

A federal judge moved this week to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Rhode Island’s truck-only tolling arrangement. The state’s legislature decided in 2016 to institute tolls, but just for trucks and only at certain spots on Interstate 95. Singling out trucks is a position that gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont also took while on the campaign trail -- only to reverse himself and back universal tolling after he was elected.

Gun Violence Debate Back In The Spotlight

Mar 20, 2019
Brian nairB / Creative Commons

As New Zealand reacts to the deadliest mass shooting in its history, the debate over guns is resurfacing here in Connecticut on many fronts.

The Connecticut Supreme Court has dealt a blow to the company that manufactures the semi-automatic rifle used in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Victims' families allowed to proceed with their lawsuit finally may be able to force Remington Arms into turning over information about how it markets such weapons.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

People who describe themselves as "proponents for choice in vaccines" held a press conference Tuesday at the state capitol, on pending state legislation that would mandate certain vaccines. Part of the press conference was a presentation by vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who raised concerns about the safety of one particular vaccine, Gardasil. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Only a small number of states have aid-in-dying or death-with-dignity laws that allow terminally ill patients to end their lives, and Connecticut supporters want that option, too. But opponents argue it could be dangerous, especially for people with disabilities.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Proposals that would expand gaming in Connecticut are on their way to the floor of the state legislature.

Lawmakers passed several bills Tuesday, ranging from legislation that would skirt federal approval to authorize the building of a casino in East Windsor, to blueprints for how sports betting could be adopted in the state.

Package Stores Offer Dime Recycling Fee In Lieu Of Liquor Bottle Deposits

Mar 18, 2019
Jeff Kubina (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s package stores have proposed a 10-cent “recycling fee” as a compromise alternative to the 25-cent deposit Gov. Ned Lamont recommended last month.

Rep. Ezequiel Santiago Of Bridgeport Dies Of Heart Attack

Mar 15, 2019
Rep. Ezequiel Santiago
Connecticut House Democrats / Facebook

Rep. Ezequiel Santiago, D-Bridgeport, who began the 2019 session as the new co-chair of the Banks Committee after a decade in the General Assembly, died Friday morning after being stricken by an apparent heart attack, legislators said.

State Economic Indicators Remain A Mixed Bag

Mar 13, 2019
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut's unemployment rate is at a 17-year low. The state has stockpiled $1.2 billion in its budget reserve fund. But it's still not in a position to go on anything resembling a spending spree.

Not with state Comptroller Kevin Lembo warning lawmakers against counting on a repeat of last year's spike in tax collections. Job gains in 2018 also were not nearly as robust as initially reported. And no one can rule out the possibility of an economic downturn lurking around the corner.

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

In a public hearing for several gun bills that lasted for more than eight hours, the testimonies of concerned mothers, proud gun owners, weary police chiefs, and drained doctors were put forth for the Judiciary Committee's consideration. 

diego_cervo/iStock / Thinkstock

In southeastern Connecticut, a team of Recovery Navigators is offering a hand -- and a sense of hope -- to residents with opioid drug addiction. This hour, we take an in-depth look at the work this team is doing.

We also hear why some municipal leaders -- including the mayor of New London, Connecticut -- are championing legislation that would grant municipalities the right to sue big pharma over the ongoing opioid crisis.

And finally, when it comes to Medicaid insurance, why are certified nurse midwives in Connecticut reimbursed at a lower rate than OB/GYN physicians? We take a closer look with Connecticut Public Radio health care reporter Nicole Leonard, and we also hear from you. 

School Regionalization Bills Sow Confusion, Spread Fear

Mar 11, 2019

Ever since Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney’s controversial school regionalization bill referenced realigning districts “in a manner similar to the probate districts,” the brightly colored map delineating those court districts has been shared widely on social media by alarmed parents and educators.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Brianne Foley didn’t have time to plan for the birth of her first child. So when she and her husband were having their second child, Foley did extensive research on which ones accepted Medicaid and were within driving distance of her home in Watertown.

That’s when she found a practice run by certified nurse midwives.

Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Governor Ned Lamont has said he is open to negotiating almost everything in his budget proposal. Well, it seems like lots of people are going to take him up on his offer.

State legislators on opposite sides of the political spectrum are panning Lamont's plan to raise roughly $500 million a year by expanding the goods and services subject to the state's sales tax.

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