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Connecticut legislature

GOP Flips Two Legislative Seats In Five Special Elections

Feb 26, 2019
Members of Connecticut's House of Representatives were sworn in on January 9, 2019. Two new members will be sworn in after winning special elections on Tuesday.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Republicans won two of the five state legislative seats at stake in special elections Tuesday, flipping House and Senate districts by carrying blue-collar communities that have grown difficult for Democrats. All five vacancies were the result of Gov. Ned Lamont hiring Democratic legislators in January.

Dissecting Governor Lamont’s Budget Proposal

Feb 21, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Ned Lamont did a lot of asking Wednesday, as he promised he would.

A general plea for everyone to step up toward a budget solution is one thing. Specific requests, like the ones he made in his state budget address to lawmakers, will prove much more difficult to attain.

It May Be Bumpy, But Lamont Sees 'A Path Forward'

Feb 20, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont cast his first budget proposal Wednesday as “a path forward,” a map for a wealthy state struggling to wriggle free of a crushing pension debt amassed over decades, end crippling cycles of deficits and spark economic growth.

Lamont Presents $43 Billion, Two-Year Plan To Legislators

Feb 20, 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 proposed a $43 billion, two-year state budget Wednesday that establishes tolls, shifts more pension debt onto future taxpayers, deals another blow to hospitals, but also closes a multi-billion dollar shortfall without raising the income tax.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The honeymoon period is over for Gov. Ned Lamont. When he delivers his state budget address to lawmakers later on Wednesday, there will already be plenty of animosity among those watching.

Connecticut legislators are getting ready for state budget talks, and one proposed tax cut is getting support from surprising sources. Some Democrats in the General Assembly support repealing the estate tax.

Criminal Justice Division

A former top lawyer for the state Republican party has been charged with stealing more than a quarter of a million dollars from a political action committee fund. Michael Cronin, who was treasurer of the fund, and a trusted employee of the party for years, first confessed in December that he had been taking cash. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut lawmakers are taking a closer look at how crisis pregnancy centers advertise their services to women. The state Public Health Committee heard testimony this week on a bill that would make it illegal for centers to be “false, misleading or deceptive” in what they offer in reproductive medical services, counseling or treatment. 

Getty Images / Pool

President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night was full of contrasting tones. Like when he endorsed national paid family leave for new parents, and then just seconds later, called for legislation banning late-term abortions.

Today, we break down his speech, and how well it went over or didn't go over with Congressional Democrats.

Michelle Lee / Creative Commons

Senate Democrats rolled out a legislative agenda for what they’re calling “A Just Connecticut” in the 2019 legislative session. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Elections aren't for another nine or so months, but mayoral races are heating up across Connecticut. That includes those in the state's three largest cities where the top municipal leaders are Democrats, and challengers from within the party keep emerging.

Does Working More Days Make State Legislatures More Effective?

Jan 25, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut purposely doesn't have a full-time legislature.

But state lawmakers' jobs aren't considered part-time either, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

They fall somewhere in between.

Democratic legislative leaders in Connecticut want to legalize the recreational use of marijuana this year. They say the taxes generated from such a move would bring in as much as $100 million a year.

Lamont Seeks Path Around 'Legal Mud' Of Gambling Wars

Jan 21, 2019
Labor union members turn out at a rally in New Haven in support of a plan by MGM Resorts International to develop a casino in Bridgeport.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

With the new year, the drama over the expansion and control of legal gambling in Connecticut enters its fifth season, a convoluted story in search of an ending. There are new cast members and old feuds, whiffs of scandal in Washington and intrigue in Hartford, and millions spent on lobbying and litigation in both places.

Connecticut State Capitol / Wikimedia Commons

The new wave of progressive Democrats, both in the Connecticut General Assembly and in Washington, D.C., isn't waiting for the 2020 election to bring about big changes.

In Connecticut, there is emboldened optimism for increasing the state's minimum wage, like Massachusetts just did and allowing early voting, like New York, which is on the verge of enacting.

Ned Lamont Finally Is 'In The Room Where It Happens'

Jan 9, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s new governor showed himself Wednesday to be affable, straightforward, optimistic, playful — and even slightly goofy — in his first address to the General Assembly, promising a collaborative approach to rebranding a state down on itself.

Lamont To Lawmakers: "Let's Do This Together"

Jan 9, 2019
Gov. Ned Lamont gives his first State of the State address.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

On his first day of the job, Gov. Ned Lamont made a lot of requests.

He requested state lawmakers to not play the "blame game" and instead confront the challenge of fixing state finances head on.

An Exuberant Lamont: 'I'm Happy To Join The Governors' Club'

Jan 9, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Edward Miner Lamont Jr., an unlikely Democratic standard bearer as a wealthy Greenwich businessman whose family tree includes titans of Wall Street and a left-wing philosopher, took office Wednesday as the 89th governor of Connecticut, a state buoyed by great wealth and burdened by decades of fiscal mismanagement.

Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Ned Lamont has been waiting for this day for a particularly long time.

Our next governor may slip in a few new details about his specific policy goals after he takes the oath of office on Wednesday. But Inauguration Day will mostly be a time for Lamont to set the tone of his forthcoming administration.

CTMirror.org

In corporate America, chief operating officers are the glue that hold business units together and ensure they are all moving forward on the same page. 

But can they work as effectively in the public sector as they do in the private sector? Incoming Governor Ned Lamont, who takes office Wednesday, has faith that they can. He's tasked public policy specialist Paul Mounds Jr. to be state government's first-ever COO.

Lamont Names Bye To Lead Office Of Early Childhood

Jan 2, 2019
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov.-elect Ned Lamont tapped Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, to lead the state Office of Early Childhood.

Amar Batra / Connecticut Public Radio

It's the New Year and, for Ned Lamont, that means there is only one week left to prepare for the day he takes over the reins of state government.

Lamont has signaled a willingness to be a consensus-builder, someone who brings together opposing viewpoints to reach effective solutions. But does he have the backbone to stand firm during the budget process when groups that propelled him into office present him with wish-lists the state can't readily afford?

Bob Adelman / Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline

Each summer, Connecticut residents flock to the shoreline, raising umbrellas and spreading towels along the state's beaches. Yet, behind this sunny imagery hides a somber history -- a story of coastal ownership and exclusivity.

This hour, Free the Beaches author Andrew Kahrl joins us. We reflect on the impact of Connecticut’s private and restricted beaches and learn about a 20th-century crusade to unlock the state’s coast.

Photo by Yutaka Tsutano, Courtesy of Flickr CC

School districts across the state have varying practices on when and whether school officials should seize and search a student's phone. Now, there's an effort underway to make a statewide policy.

Bump stocks harness a gun's recoil to speed up the rate of fire. Ten states banned the plastic attachments in the wake of a 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Courtesy Michael Cargill

The Trump administration says it will soon place a federal ban on bump stocks, the gun attachments that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire faster. Ten states banned the plastic device after it was used by a gunman in Las Vegas to shoot and kill 58 people in 2017.

ctvisit.com

Connecticut House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz has convened what's described as a blue ribbon panel on tourism in the state.

Amar Batra / Connecticut Public Radio

The chief counsel to the state Senate Republicans has been fired after admitting misappropriating tens of thousands of dollars from an election expenses account. Michael Cronin was confronted Monday by the caucus leader, state Senator Len Fasano, after vendors complained of unpaid bills, and a check was bounced.

Connecticut State Capitol / Wikimedia Commons

A narrative often repeated by Connecticut Republicans and others is that state residents are sick of the high taxes and government ineptitude, and ready to bolt to greener pastures.

But new census data isn't all doom and gloom. Out-migration trends that soiled Connecticut's reputation in recent years are dissipating, according to a Hartford Courant editorial. In certain key categories, it found recent population losses have turned into population gains.

What's Up With Connecticut's Election System?

Nov 14, 2018
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

We’re still finding out results from last Tuesday’s elections in Connecticut and that’s not surprising, really. Some of the races were just really close. That’s probably a good thing.

Another good thing: Lots of people showing up to vote. Gigantic numbers showing up to vote in a midterm election in Connecticut and just about everywhere.

The bad thing: We still can’t seem to get this election thing right at least in our cities.

This hour, we look at possible fixes.

thetruthpreneur / Creative Commons

The National Council for Adoption has reported a decline in U.S. intercountry adoptions since the year 2004.

This hour, we discuss the factors driving this downward shift and consider how it compares to trends in the adoption of children born domestically.

We also hear from two Connecticut residents with unique adoption experiences -- one as an adoptive father, the other as an adopted son.

If you have an adoption story you want to share, we want to hear from you, too.

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