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CT in Washington: Leadership in chaos, gun violence revisited

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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 →

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Feds plan early release for 32 prisoners from Connecticut, with more coming

The Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury.

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 →

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CT ethics office still in ‘conversation’ with Wade about recusal

Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade.

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 →

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Larson hosts Pelosi, other Dems, at East Hartford bocce tournament

WASHINGTON – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is among a group of House Democrats in East Hartford today to play a little bocce ball for charity – and also raise money for the Democratic Party at a separate event. Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, holds the bocce ball tournament every year.
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Connecticut tobacco farmers eyeing Cuban market

A shade tobacco field in East Windsor.

WASHINGTON – Before the Cuban Revolution brought on the U.S. economic embargo on the island about 55 years ago, Cuba’s world-class cigars were often wrapped in special tobacco leaves grown in Connecticut. Connecticut farmers want access to that market again, and Sen. Chris Murphy wants to help them get it. Continue Reading →

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This Week in Washington

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Congress moved at the 11th hour to avert a government shutdown, but it’s only a short-term fix -- with a new budget deadline of Dec. 11. Access Health CT CEO James Wadleigh defended the operations of Connecticut’s health exchange to skeptical GOP lawmakers. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini’s plans to merge with Humana were also scrutinized by a House panel this week. Continue Reading →

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Congress shuts loan program that helps thousands of CT students

college grads

WASHINGTON – Congress may have averted a government shutdown, but failed to prevent the demise of the nation’s oldest student aid program, known as the Perkins loan. Thousands of Connecticut students use this program to help finance their education. Continue Reading →

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CT continues to lead nation in income, but wealth poorly distributed

WASHINGTON – Connecticut continues to lead the nation when it comes to personal income, federal economists say, but other reports show the state is also No. 1 when it comes to the uneven distribution of that wealth between the very rich and everyone else. Continue Reading →

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House panel grills Access Health CEO, other exchange chiefs

Access Health CT CEO James Wadleigh

WASHINGTON – As part of a renewed attack on the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans grilled Access Health CEO James Wadleigh and the heads of other state marketplaces on Tuesday, saying they had wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on an effort that has raised health insurance deductibles and premiums. Continue Reading →

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Feds say CT cities had little economic growth in 2014


WASHINGTON – How healthy is the state’s economy? It’s a tale of two Connecticuts, and the subject of widely different viewpoints. But a recent federal report shows Connecticut's big cities lag most others in the nation when it comes to economic growth. Continue Reading →

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CT lawmakers say Boehner’s resignation cuts shutdown odds, but threat remains

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks about his decision to leave office.

WASHINGTON – House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to resign may have lessened the prospects of a government shutdown, but that won’t be known for sure until Congress considers a short-term spending bill next week. Meanwhile, Connecticut agencies have been told to draw up contingency plans. Continue Reading →

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