Google Hangout: Exploring the Family Medical and Leave Act

Along with sponsor AARP, The Connecticut Mirror hosts its second Google Hangout of the 2015 Connecticut legislative session to discuss the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Joining host and Mirror Capitol Bureau Chief Mark Pazniokas is Catherine Bailey, the legal and public policy director of the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund, and Enzo Pastore, national policy expert, AARP, from Washington, D.C. Continue Reading →

On conservation’s front lines, districts facing budget cuts

An aerial of the Laurel Marsh project in East Hartford and Manchester, which replaced invasive aquatic grasses with native species.

The five little-known Connecticut Conservation Districts help municipalities and the public with soil and water conservation problems and projects they can’t handle themselves. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's proposed budget would end all $300,000 in state funding for the districts — money they say is necessary to run their offices and leverage larger sums in the form of grants. Continue Reading →

Last call: Tickets for Mirror’s first Policy Pairings event Thursday

Online tickets sales will continue through Wednesday for The Mirror’s first Policy Pairings event on Thursday at Shebeen Brewing Company in Wolcott. The discussion will focus on the long-term future of taxes in Connecticut. The panel will be moderated by Mirror Budget Reporter Keith Phaneuf. Each ticket entitles you to an open sampling of Shebeen beers, including Irish Pale, Scotch Ale, Turbo or Royal IPA, JavaPig (bacon and coffee oatmeal stout), Cannoli Beer and a special small batch. Assorted pub fare will also be served. Continue Reading →

Still on hold: A solution for long DSS call-wait times

This is a photo of DSS Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby and George Chamberlin, who runs the benefits centers

It took an average of 54 minutes for callers to reach a Department of Social Services worker by phone last month. That’s an improvement over February’s 70-minute average, and one of the lower average monthly wait times in the past year. But client advocates say it’s long past time things be improved in the phone system, which launched in July 2013 as part of a highly touted “modernization” initiative. Continue Reading →