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CT lawmakers torn between funds for subs and waiver for Mattis

mattis-cropped

WASHINGTON – A stopgap measure to fund the federal government would allow work to continue on a new Connecticut-built ballistic missile submarine while also expediting the controversial nomination of retired Gen. James N. Mattis as the next secretary of defense, posing a tough choice for Connecticut’s lawmakers. Continue Reading →

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With an eye on legislature, Bronin makes pitch to suburbs

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin in West Hartford.

It wasn’t necessarily the way Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin wanted to start a conversation with the suburbs about what it would mean to the region if the capital city goes broke. But the Metropolitan District Commission’s unexpected levy on its member communities for a reserve fund in case Hartford cannot pay its bills is getting Bronin invitations to the suburbs to talk about the city’s challenges. Continue Reading →

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Defense hawks hope Trump keeps vow to boost military spending

Sikorsky's new heavy lift helicopter, now in flight testing.

WASHINGTON — The House has approved a $619 billion defense bill and the Senate is expected to follow this week, but there’s a push to add F-35s, Black Hawk helicopters and other military hardware to the Pentagon’s shopping list early next year, right after President-elect Donald Trump assumes office. Continue Reading →

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Murphy tweets: Trump’s foreign policy pivots are ‘how wars start’

Sen. Chris Murphy

Updated Saturday at 11:45 a.m.
WASHINGTON — Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, attacked Sen. Chris Murphy for tweeting that Trump’s recent calls with foreign leaders, especially the president of Taiwan, are “how wars start.” Murphy lit up the twitterverse late Friday by attacking Trump for his overtures to foreign leaders. Continue Reading →

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Aetna-Humana antitrust trial to have a different twist

Aetna headquarters in Hartford

WASHINGTON – As the first part of the antitrust trial on a proposed merger of Anthem and Cigna is wrapping up, a similar challenge to Aetna’s plan to merge with Humana will begin Monday. While both are the result of lawsuits to block the mergers filed by the Justice Department on the same day in July, the trials will be much different. Continue Reading →

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Trump pick to run Medicare, Medicaid has red-state policy chops

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Seema Verma, a health care consultant, to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That’s the part of the Department of Health and Human Services that oversees Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and has a budget of just under a trillion dollars in 2016. Continue Reading →

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House approves mental health and addiction bill championed by Murphy, Courtney

Capitol dome looking up

WASHINGTON — Connecticut’s Democratic lawmakers split with Rep. Rosa DeLauro and other progressives in their party Wednesday over a bill that included Sen. Chris Murphy’s mental health bill and authorized the spending of $1 billion on the treatment and prevention of opioid addiction. Continue Reading →

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Lembo challenges charitable deductions for anti-LGBT group

Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo

Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo is questioning whether Connecticut state employees should be able to continue directing charitable payroll deductions to the American Family Association of Tupelo, Miss., a Christian charity that the Southern Poverty Law Center monitors as an anti-LGBT “extremist group.” Continue Reading →

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Walker: ‘Devastating’ cuts cannot solve CT’s budget woes

Office of Fiscal Analysis Director Neil Ayers (left) and Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes (right)

As analysts outlined a grim picture Wednesday that could include further cuts to state social services and reversing recent enhancements in local aid and transportation, one key lawmaker insisted officials must discuss raising revenue in 2017. Continue Reading →

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