Politics | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Politics

Ignoring Clash With Lamont, Senate Passes Family Leave

9 hours ago
Amar Batra / Connecticut Public Radio

Setting aside the 11th-hour threat of a gubernatorial veto, the state Senate voted 21-15 Wednesday night to pass a Democratic bill that would create a paid family and medical leave insurance policy, a step toward a long-sought goal of labor progressives.

Allen Allen / Creative Commons

The American criminal justice system has become less 'just' over recent decades and prosecutors bear much of the responsibility.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Ned Lamont on Tuesday grudgingly accepted the increasingly irrefutable reality that highway toll legislation won't pass before the regular session wraps up on June 5.

Instead, he said he's devoting his next two weeks to what may be an even bigger challenge: working out a compromise with progressive Democrats over the state budget.

Lamont Leaves Tolls For Special Session

May 21, 2019
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont conceded Tuesday that the 2019 session of the General Assembly will end June 5 without a vote on highway tolls, recasting his focus for the final weeks to delivering a budget that will provide a reliable fiscal blueprint for Connecticut for the next two years.

It's decision season at the U.S. Supreme Court, and there are a host of consequential cases the justices are deciding, from a controversial Trump administration proposal to adding a citizenship question to the census to gerrymandering and a question of separation of church and state.

As always, timing of which exact cases will be decided is unknown until the court releases them. The only clues are when the cases were argued, and, sometimes, that's not predictive either.

Joe Flood / Flickr Creative Commons

For everyone who watched Sunday's series finale of Game of Thrones, perhaps a better show to get a handle on what's happening inside America is Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale.

People aren't going around greeting their neighbors with "Blessed by the fruit." But there's an argument to be made that news headlines from the past week are eerily similar to the fictional transpirings that gave way to Handmaid's Republic of Gilead.

Bob Best enthusiastically supports President Trump's tough policies against China and other countries.

"I'm not a big tariff guy. I'm a free trade guy," says Best, who manages a heating and air conditioning company in Kennesaw, Ga.

"But sometimes when the bully just doesn't listen, you've got to punch him in the mouth. And that's what he's doing."

Conn. Senate Passes Bill Restricting Cooperation With ICE

May 15, 2019
Sen. Gary Winfield, left, defends the immigration bill. At right is an opponent, Sen. John Kissel.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Connecticut jumped back into the contentious national debate over immigration enforcement as Senate Democrats voted early Wednesday to pass a bill that would further restrict how police and court personnel can work with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain undocumented immigrants.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

State Attorney General William Tong says his office has diagnosed an aggressive cancer eating away at America's healthcare system.

According to Tong, it's triggered by scheming executives at many of the largest pharmaceutical companies illegally working together to artificially inflate the cost of generic drugs. Forty-three other states are joining the effort spearheaded by Connecticut's AG to litigate drugmakers into a court-ordered treatment plan.

At a rally on Capitol Hill organized by black female leaders in support of Ilhan Omar, the embattled Democratic congresswoman addressed the crowd.

"They cannot stand that a refugee, a black woman, an immigrant, a Muslim shows up in Congress thinking she's equal to them," she said, referencing President Trump, members of the Republican Party and even members of her own party.

Jared Frazer / Creative Commons

President Trump is working to block more than 20 separate Congressional investigations led by the Democratic-controlled House. Democrats say the Trump Administration has failed to respond to or comply with at least 79 requests for documents or other information. Are we in a Constitutional crisis, or not? 

Cassandra Basler / WSHU

In their heyday, Willimantic's Hooker and Nathan Hale Hotels were considered among the most lavish accomodations halfway between New York and Boston.

But they have long sat idle. Most residents know little about the Hooker's past other than that, by the 1980s and 1990s, the decaying structure turned into a notoriously gruesome boarding house for heroin addicts.

House Gives Final Approval To Pilot Hemp Program

May 9, 2019
Hemp growing in a UConn greenhouse.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The House of Representatives gave unanimous approval late Wednesday to a bill authorizing a pilot program for the production and sale of hemp.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns at the stroke of midnight four weeks from tonight.

So far, none of the biggest policy goals identified early on by majority Democrats have made their way to the governor's desk for his consideration.

Not electronic highway tolls. Not legalizing recreational marijuana. Not sports betting. Not paid family and medical leave.

Reform-minded Democrats have long held up "dark money" — political money that can't be traced to its source — as a symptom of what's wrong with politics in Washington. But while House Democrats this winter passed a bill to end the secrecy shielding donors behind unregulated dark money contributions, liberal activist groups now deploy those funds to boost the party's candidates in the 2020 elections.

Almigdad Mojalli / Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons

Tens of thousands have died in Yemen as a Saudi-led bombing campaign continues to fuel a devastating civil war. And the U.S. has been fueling military efforts by Saudi Arabia in this four year conflict.

This hour, we ask Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy: what are the next steps to address this humanitarian crisis, now that the senate has failed to override the president’s veto of a resolution to end American involvement in the war?

Police Shootings Echo At General Assembly

May 3, 2019
Michelle Lee / Creative Commons

Many police experts advise don’t do it. Some departments prohibit it. But twice in recent weeks, a police officer in Connecticut has fired into a motor vehicle, killing a driver in Wethersfield, wounding a passenger in New Haven — and fueling a push in Hartford for legislation addressing the use of force.

Democratic Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont and his fellow Democrats in the legislature appear to be headed for a showdown over taxing the rich to help solve Connecticut’s pension debt crisis.

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr declined to appear before a hearing scheduled on Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee following hours of sometimes tough back-and-forth on Wednesday in the Senate.

The chairman of the House panel, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said that Barr was risking a contempt of Congress citation and that he would go ahead with his planned hearing — with an empty witness chair if necessary.

Chion Wolf (File photo) / Connecticut Public Radio

For all the recent attention bestowed on Democratic Party progressives, there's new evidence so-called centrists aren't going to just fade away.

Not with former Vice President Joe Biden taking a commanding early lead over the many 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls running to his left. National polls released Tuesday cast Biden well ahead of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others vying for the party's nomination.

Updated 9:28 a.m. ET on May 1

Special counsel Robert Mueller wrote a letter in late March objecting to Attorney General William Barr's four-page summary of the conclusions of the investigation into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, a Justice Department official confirmed Tuesday night.

Updated at 3:49 p.m. ET

President Trump has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to keep two banks from responding to congressional subpoenas, setting up a legal showdown with Democrats eager to investigate his finances.

The president, his three oldest children and his business, The Trump Organization, say the investigations by the House intelligence and Financial Services committees are overbroad and serve no purpose beyond harassment.

Marco Verch / Creative Commons

It's just Colin and your calls.

Fonfara Rebels At Lamont's 'Debt Diet'

Apr 26, 2019
Chion Wolf (File photo) / Connecticut Public Radio

An influential Democratic state senator has sharply and creatively signaled his disagreement with Gov. Ned Lamont’s plan to place Connecticut on a debt diet by authoring a bill that would wrest control of the state’s access to credit markets from the executive branch and give it to lawmakers.

The Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal Church in New Haven, Connecticut was where Nury Chavarria sought sanctuary in 2017.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The state of Connecticut and dozens of towns are mired in a legal standoff with the U.S. Justice Department over millions of dollars in policing grants the Trump administration is withholding from what it considers “sanctuary cities.”

Updated at 6:10 p.m. ET

After months of oscillating speculation, followed by a long ramp up that drew out uncomfortable reassessments of his long public career, former Vice President Joe Biden has announced that he will run for president in 2020.

Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

This hour, we look at how successful Governor Ned Lamont's first hundred days were, and what his plans are to create a "cost-efficient, user friendly" government. Meanwhile, he's at odds with fellow Democrats over a proposed controversal tax increase on the state's wealthy residents.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Attorney General William Barr delivers a press conference at the Justice Department ahead of the expected release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. A redacted version of the report is expected to be released on Thursday.

Updated at 12:33 p.m. EST

The Justice Department says it plans to release special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Thursday morning. Here's what you need to know.

What is it?

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Stop & Shop employees continue to strike in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, prompting some customers to fill their grocery carts elsewhere. 

Pages