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New GOP and Dem budgets would still cut Medicare Savings Program

While Democrats and Republicans both want to blunt the looming roll-back of a program that helps disabled and low-income elderly in Connecticut pay for medical care, their plans will still cut off  tens of thousands who’ve come to rely on it. Continue Reading →

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Inspector General investigating Interior’s handling of CT tribes’ casino issue

The Interior Department’s official watchdog on Monday confirmed it is investigating why the agency rebuffed a request by Connecticut tribes to approve changes to its gaming compact needed to win state support for a new casino in East Windsor. Continue Reading →

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Union election at Foxwoods as CT tribes push back against federal labor laws

WASHINGTON — More than 300 employees who clean the Mashantucket Pequot’s Foxwoods Resort Casino will decide on Friday if they want to unionize and reject tribal arguments against that idea. Meanwhile, Connecticut’s Pequot and Mohegan tribes are backing efforts to exempt their businesses from federal labor laws, a priority for the nation’s Indian tribes. Continue Reading →

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Congress moves to tighten food stamp rules

Updated at 7:10 p.m.
WASHINGTON — A massive farm bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee Wednesday would end food stamp benefits for many childless adults in 114 Connecticut towns, unless those beneficiaries get a job or work training. Republicans said the change would encourage more recipients to move out of poverty while Democrats said it was a mean-spirited degradation of a critical part of the social safety net. Continue Reading →

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Murphy introduces ‘Medicare for more’ health plan option

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chris Murphy on Wednesday introduced legislation that would allow individuals and businesses to purchase Medicare coverage. Murphy and co-sponsor Sen. Jeff Merkley say there’s little chance of immediate passage of the bill, but say there is a need for public discussion on ways to shore up the Affordable Care Act. Continue Reading →

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Esty leads in fundraising, but will have to give most money away

WASHINGTON — Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who had to reach into her own pockets to help fund her first bid to represent the 5th District, will leave Congress with a hefty war chest. Since she is not running for re-election, Esty will have to return some of those donations, and give the rest of the money away. Continue Reading →

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Murphy to oppose Pompeo confirmation to lead State Department

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chris Murphy on Monday said he would oppose the confirmation of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to head the State Department. Murphy cited the candidate’s “narrow” foreign policy views and stands on a number of issues, including the use of torture and the rights of Muslims and LGBT Americans, “that place him outside mainstream American values.” Continue Reading →

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CT lawmakers differ on airstrikes on Syria, agree Trump needs approval from Congress

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chris Murphy on Saturday had some of Capitol Hill’s the harshest criticism of U.S. airstrikes on Syria, calling them “illegal,” and counterproductive, leading to more attacks by Bashar al-Assad on the Syrian people and “a bloodier, more brutal war.” Other Connecticut lawmakers were more supportive of the strikes, but called on the White House to seek authorization from Congress for further military action and devise a “comprehensive” strategy on Syria. Continue Reading →

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U.S. Ed Dept. comes to aid of CT students of shuttered for-profit school

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Education has come to the aid of hundreds of Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute students whose education came to an abrupt end last week when the school shut down without warning. The help includes allowing students file claims to have their student loans discharged. Continue Reading →

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CT among highest states in Pentagon per-capita spending

WASHINGTON –  Pentagon spending on contracts in 2015 was $2,504 for every man, woman and child in Connecticut, more per person than in any other place except Virginia and the District of Columbia, according to a recently released report by the Pew Charitable Trusts. But a key lawmaker warned Thursday that lean years are coming for the Pentagon’s budget. Continue Reading →

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