The Volkswagen scandal is the latest consumer issue seized on by Richard Blumenthal, who has made consumer protection a priority in his five years in the U.S. Senate, much as he did during his 20 years as Connecticut’s attorney general.
As legislators and others look closely at the cost of state employee salaries and benefits, one crucial factor often gets little or no attention: The overwhelming bulk of costs Connecticut faces today to support pension programs for state employees and public school teachers is from cleaning up problems caused years – and in many cases decades – ago.
WASHINGTON – Justin Cotney uses embryonic tissue for his research as the University of Connecticut health center into why some children develop cleft palate. But the use of fetal tissue from abortions is now coming under attack by conservative Republicans who have been thwarted in their attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.
The administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is making a strategic concession in the bitter political fight over hospital funding cuts by restoring $14.1 million to a half-dozen of the state’s smaller hospitals.
Chaos reigned in the House Republican ranks after Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who was favored to become the next Speaker, dropped out of the race; but there was nary a peep from Connecticut’s all-Democratic congressional delegation about that. But Senate Democrats, including Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, were eloquent and forceful in the re-launch of a campaign promoting universal background checks of gun purchasers. Continue Reading →
Thousands of Connecticut homes have been repeatedly damaged by flooding due to storms. costing the government millions in insurance claims. The losses are now causing some to question the wisdom of policies that encourage rebuilding. They say that with climate change, those properties will grow more vulnerable and money would be better spent moving people out. So far, however, few homeowners are interested. Continue Reading →
WASHINGTON – Federal officials said Thursday that 32 inmates who had lived in Connecticut before their incarceration will have their sentences cut and be set free at the end of the month -- part of the largest U.S. prisoner release in U.S. history. Continue Reading →
Bill Clinton is headlining a $1,000-a-ticket fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign Wednesday at the West Hartford home of Attorney General George Jepsen. The next evening, he will be at UConn to accept an award named for Thomas J. Dodd. Continue Reading →
WASHINGTON – Reacting to the nation’s latest mass shooting in Oregon, Senate Democrats, including Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, on Thursday said they would try once again to pass legislation first prompted by the mass slaying in Newtown. Continue Reading →
Though some legislators are exploring possible state employee furloughs, asking workers to take unpaid days off could be a troublesome fix for Connecticut’s budget – for several reasons. Besides a new nonpartisan analysis showing a relatively modest savings from concessions, a larger state budget hole down the road, as well as the nature of labor-management relations, also makes furloughs problematic at best. Continue Reading →
Grants from the Melville Charitable Trust and two anonymous family foundations will help give Connecticut’s poor at least one more legislative session represented by lobbyists for the state's cash-strapped legal-aid groups. But the long-term financial prospects of legal-aid remain precarious. Continue Reading →
The state of Connecticut moved closer this week toward offering keno gaming at restaurants, bars and convenience stores this winter. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration announced it has reached an agreement with the two Indian tribes that run casinos in southeastern Connecticut to share 25 percent of the keno proceeds. Continue Reading →
A considerable amount of the $132.9 million the state provided the lowest-performing districts to pay for improvements like extending the school day or offering free preschool was "inappropriately" used last year to close budget deficits districts were facing, state education leaders said Wednesday. Continue Reading →
While Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade, a former Cigna in-house lobbyist, said she won’t recuse herself from involvement in the $54-billion merger between Cigna and Anthem, the issue has not been settled by the Connecticut Office of State Ethics, which is still in discussions with her about the situation. Continue Reading →
Leaders of the state's largest public college system are asking for major concessions from its unionized teaching staff -- changes the union says are "unprecedented in our bargaining history." Continue Reading →
In a report released Tuesday, state auditors cited concerns raised by a security expert who reviewed the Access Health insurance exchange following a 2014 security breach. They suggested that the quasi-public agency develop a system for responding to security deficiencies. Continue Reading →
The Connecticut Mirror, the state’s award-winning, nonprofit public policy news organization, is holding its second statewide public policy event, “Small State, Big Debate: Race,” today at Fairfield University. Follow the event here with the hashtag #ctrace. Continue Reading →
There's agreement that too few children in Connecticut have access to quality preschool programs, but top state officials are butting heads with a coalition of parents and educators on how to put a near-universal system in place. Attorney General George Jepsen argues that whether the state pays for universal preschool is an issue that should remain with lawmakers. His office is defending the State Department of Education and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in a school-funding lawsuit brought by a coalition of parents, school boards, municipal leaders and teachers' unions. The coalition worries that lawmakers will continue to look at the budgets for early education programs as places to find money when times are tight. A Jan. Continue Reading →