In a state that’s been almost entirely run by Democrats for years, Connecticut’s moderate Gov. Ned Lamont is getting a hard push from the left. Rep. Robyn Porter of New Haven is co-chair of the legislature’s labor committee, and she’s been a vocal opponent of what she calls Lamont’s “austerity budget.” She wants more investment in state programs to help vulnerable residents through the economic damage of the pandemic, and to do that, she wants to raise taxes on wealthy residents, an idea Lamont has rejected.

Porter has also been critical of a vaccine rollout strategy that has given advantages to white, suburban residents. She says it’s simple, just do it by zip code, and target the neediest residents – a strategy the state is starting to adopt. In our conversation, we also talk about something she and Lamont do agree on, the legalization of marijuana, and the overwhelming passage of the Crown Act – a multi-state effort to prohibit discrimination based on hairstyles, a bill Porter strongly supported.

John is CT Mirror's Director of Events. A well-known and highly-regarded radio personality and moderator, he divides his time between CT Mirror — where he heads up our events program and serves as a multi-platform consultant — and the NPR / PRI program Science Friday. Previously, John was executive editor of the New England News Collaborative and the host of NEXT, a weekly program about New England. He also appeared weekly on The Wheelhouse, WNPR’s news roundtable program. His 25 years in public media also include serving as vice president of news for Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, host of WNPR’s Where We Live, and regular fill-in host for the PRI program Science Friday in New York. He was twice recognized by PRNDI as America’s best public radio call-in show.