Toni E. Walker

Recent Posts

It’s Ritter, Walker in contest for House majority leader

The Connecticut Capitol dome visible through the skylight of the Legislative Office Building.

As House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, publicly acknowledged his political retirement plans Sunday, the telephone scramble began by three House Democrats competing for two leadership jobs.
House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, immediately confirmed he was running to succeed Sharkey as speaker, igniting a competition for his job between Matthew D. Ritter of Hartford and Toni E. Walker of New Haven. Continue Reading →

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Clues to where Malloy’s commissioners might cut, if given the authority

Pictured are the commissioners of the departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Children and Families and Education

Asked by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to give state agency leaders the authority to cut $360.8 million, state legislators are struggling to get a sense of which programs and services gubernatorial appointees would deem “pet projects” and target for reductions or elimination. “What I am trying to figure out when someone from a domestic violence shelter calls me and says, ‘Did I get cut? Did I not get cut?’ I have to say I don’t know. Cause I can’t figure it out,” Rep. Toni Walker, D-New Haven, the House chairwoman of the legislature’s powerful budget-writing committee, told the commissioner of the Department of Social Services last week. Continue Reading →

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Legislators press DCF: Do your juvenile jails work?

Jennie being restrained last year at the locked jail for girls

Fourteen months have passed since Jennie was violently taken down from behind as she walked from one end of the state-run jail for girls to the other. On Thursday, concerned lawmakers on the legislative panel that oversees juvenile justice wanted to know: Where is Jennie now, and how is she doing? And do the jails, which house juveniles convicted of a crime, improve their behavior after they leave? Continue Reading →

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Giving young offenders 2nd chance means system-wide reform

Harding High School in Bridgeport

With a goal of reducing the number of young offenders incarcerated by 20 percent in three years, Connecticut will need to both prevent youths from entering the juvenile justice system and make sure they don’t return when they leave. Second of two articles. Continue Reading →

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A second chance for CT youths who break the law?

The Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown

On any given day, about 160 young offenders are incarcerated in Connecticut’s juvenile jail or pre-trial detention centers. State officials want to substantially reduce that number, but first they have some obstacles to overcome. First of two articles. Continue Reading →

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House adopts controversial state budget

House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey talking with the majority leader on the phone while the chamber votes on the budget

Connecticut’s long-running budget drama began drawing to a close early Wednesday as the House of Representatives adopted a $40.3 billion, two-year package that largely restores deep cuts to social services and expands municipal aid while bolstering tax revenues by almost $2 billion. Continue Reading →

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Aggressive charter school campaign descends on the Capitol

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy addresses a rally of charter school supporters at the state Capitol Thursday.

Legislators are being bombarded with emails informing them every time a student applies to a charter school that the state has yet to agree to fund. And when they turn on the television, they see advertisements warning that thousands of students will be trapped in failing schools unless state lawmakers spend millions more to expand enrollment in charter schools. Continue Reading →

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