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Posted inNews

3-day power outages spurs Rell to launch investigation of utility companies

Thousands remain with out power following this weekend’s storm, and Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced today the state is investigating the response from the two largest electric companies. “I’m concerned about the response in the first hours of the storm,” Rell said during a press conference, noting that almost 40,000 customers remain without power. Rell […]

Posted inNews

Bill to scrutinize health insurance rates moves forward

A bill that would require public hearings and disclosure of data justifying health insurance rate hikes was approved by the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee today on a 14-5 vote. “It’s needed,” said Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. of Woodbridge, co-chairman of the committee, following the vote. The proposal was launched last year after […]

Posted inNews

FOI exemption collides with municipal data needs

Correction Officer Kevin Brace doesn’t know why a convicted arsonist at the prison where he works was able to get his personal information through a Freedom of Information request that can reveal his home address, but he can’t imagine it’s a good thing. “It’s paper terrorism,” said Brace. “They can get my personal information and there is […]

Posted inNews

Transportation Committee passes bill to require seat belts on school buses

A proposal requiring seat belts on school buses moved one step closer to reality, as the legislature’s Transportation Committee voted in favor of the bill Monday 29-7. A compromise was made prior to the vote that would require only new buses have seat belts beginning July 2012. Originally, co-chairman Rep. Antonio Guerrera, D-Rocky Hill, sought […]

Posted inNews

Lawmakers balk at electronic tolls, vote for study instead

The legislature’s Transportation Committee backed away from a proposal to immediately implement electronic toll collection at major state border crossings, but directed the Department of Transportation to study the idea. Rep. Antonio Guerrera, D-Rocky Hill, had been pushing for tolls to open immediately at seven state border locations, but said he did not have the […]

Posted inNews

Tolls on the table again

Proposals to reinstate tolls on state roads have failed in recent years, but with Connecticut facing huge deficits, the Transportation Committee’s co-chairman says the idea is gaining momentum. “If we implement them today we are talking millions of dollars this year,” said Rep. Antonio Guerrera, D-Rocky Hill, whose committee will hear testimony on tolls today. […]

Posted inNews

Think tank’s website gets legislators thinking, Why not do it ourselves?

A fresh idea is catching on at the State Capitol: budget transparency. A searchable database of the state’s checkbook. Available online for free. Kind of like the one set up a month ago by a conservative think tank. The new website created by the Yankee Institute for Public Policy showing all state expenditures, including payroll, […]

Posted inNews

Old debate renewed: Liquor retailers face off on lifting Sunday sales ban

The familiar battle-lines were drawn Monday: Package store owners from border towns complained they lose money because they can’t open on Sundays, while a broader-based liquor retailers’ association said ending Connecticut’s Sunday sales ban would drive mom-and-pop shops out of business. Still, about 100 people filled the Program Review and Investigations Committee hearing room for […]