Keno gambling appears dead in Connecticut before the games even started – as numerous top officials now say they are against the bingo-like game.
House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey called Wednesday for the state to repeal keno before it takes effect – dealing a huge blow to the game and essentially ending its chances for implementation. Continue reading
A report out today by he Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign says Connecticut has the second strongest gun control laws in the country.
House Speaker Brendan Sharkey had this to say:
Unlike what is happening in Washington, Democrats and Republicans worked closely together in Connecticut to pass the type of gun safety legislation that is long overdue at the federal level. Universal background checks combined with a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines are all important steps in the continuing battle to reduce gun violence. I’m proud that the Brady Campaign has recognized our state’s effort, but what is really needed is a Congress that puts partisan posturing aside in favor of the kind of gun safety laws that will make our country a safer place for everyone.
We’ve noted in the past the enormous numbers of task forces and study groups created by the legislature this year.
On Thursday at 3 p.m., a task force examining whether Connecticut should have a uniform school calender will hold its organizational meeting.
Supporters say having all school districts in the state operate on the same annual calendar would encourage regionalism. The idea was promoted by the MORE Commission, which was formed by House Speaker Brendan Sharkey to find ways for municipalities to save money through greater cooperation.
Also coming up on the legislative calendar is another task force meeting, this one devoted to beverages and food in funeral homes.
Every year in the historic Hall of the House, longtime state Rep. Mary Fritz steps up to the microphone and lauds the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team on the annual Husky Day.
Now, Fritz will be headed to the White House on Wednesday with the team for a special reception with President Barack Obama.
A veteran lawmaker and assistant deputy Speaker, Fritz was asked by House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey to attend the 2 p.m. ceremony on his behalf.
“I am really pleased to be accompanying the UConn women’s team to the White House and thank Speaker Sharkey for this honor,” Fritz said in a statement. “In addition to being great players and national champions for the eighth time, these women student athletes and their coaches are outstanding representatives of our state. They deserve this honor.” Continue reading
The state legislature took no action to override any of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s eight vetoes during a special session Monday, and Sen. Joseph Markley says lawmakers are not doing their job.
Markley was particularly concerned about a veto regarding hospitals that specifically impacted Waterbury Hospital and Bristol Hospital.
He is concerned that neither the House nor the Senate debated the issue Monday, but instead held short sessions – lasting minutes – before adjourning without overriding or discussing any vetoes.
“I feel like today, as a legislature, effectively we punted,” Markley told reporters in the Capitol press room. “We didn’t hold up our end. We didn’t try to become part of the conversation or part of the solution. We decided to stay on the sidelines.”
“It is a rubber stamp,” Markley, a Republican, said of the Democratic-controlled legislature. ”It is a refusal of the legislature to act like an equal branch of government. Every time we do that, we weaken our position. We’re the ones that are elected to represent the people most directly, and so if we fail, we fail the population of Connecticut.”
But House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, a Democrat, told Capitol Watch in an interview that the narrow purpose of Monday’s session was to decide only whether the vetoes should be overridden. It was not a forum, he said, to discuss broader hospital issues on the merits. That can be done, he said, during the next regular session that starts in February. And there was no overwhelming desire in his 98-member caucus to override any of the vetoes, he said. Continue reading
Top politicians are raising money for Republican Mike Fedele and Democrat William Tong in a marquee battle to become the mayor of Stamford – Connecticut’s fastest-growing city.
Fedele is expected to face off in November against Tong, a lawmaker who has widespread support in the city. Their clash has gained attention in Hartford because they have played on larger stages in Connecticut politics. Fedele was a state legislator from his hometown before serving as lieutenant governor under Republican M. Jodi Rell. Tong has been a legislator since winning his first race in 2006, and he staged a statewide run last year for the U.S. Senate before dropping out of the race.
Former gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley will be holding a fundraiser next week at his Greenwich home for Fedele. Foley and Greenwich fundraiser L. Scott Frantz have both endorsed Fedele, a longtime Stamford resident who moved to the city more than 50 years ago from Italy at the age of three.
A second fundraiser for Fedele, hosted by former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays and Stamford board of representatives deputy minority leader Harry Day, will be held in mid-July in Stamford. Day is an attorney who graduated from Yale before heading to Cornell law school. Continue reading
A bill establishing an office of early childhood wasn’t the only public policy casualty in the frenzied waning hours of the 2013 legislative session.
Another measure that lost its race against the clock on Wednesday was a criminal justice bill that had broad bipartisan support in the House but failed to come up for a vote on the Senate. Had it passed, the bill would give prisoners serving lengthy sentences for crimes they committed in youth a chance at freedom. It comes in response to three recent U.S. Supreme Court cases, including Miller v. Alabama, which holds that life sentences for offenders under 18 are unconstitutional and requires states to provide young prisoners with “a meaningful opportunity” to seek release.
Sen. John Kissel, an Enfield Republican, said he had “serious concerns” about the bill — and he was also critical of the chamber’s Democratic leaders to leave such an important issues to the final hours.
“The bill’s been up here in the Senate for at least a couple of weeks now,” he said in a brief interview a few hours before Wednesday’s midnight adjournment. “If the majority party was really keen on getting it through, they had time.”
Connecticut lawmakers voted on a measure that would legalize and regulate mixed martial arts matches in the state but they didn’t exactly roll out the welcome wagon.
Top Democrats in the Senate made their distaste for the intense and fast-growing sport abundantly clear, as did Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is still deciding whether to sign the bill into law.
And about seven hours after the Senate approved the bill, lawmakers voted on language in an unrelated budget bill that could hamper efforts to bring MMA to Connecticut. The measure requires firms promoting MMA matches to pay the healthcare costs of athletes injured during a competition.
“The language may prohibit the promoters from coming here, we don’t know yet,” said Sen. Andres Ayala, D-Bridgeport, a leading champion of MMA in the legislature. “They’re going to have to look at this and see if it’s something they can live with.”
Just after midnight Tuesday, the state House of Representatives approved a lengthy bill that aims to save municipalities money by emphasizing regionalism.
House Bill 6629 also sets a seven-year timetable for the elimination of the car tax, an unpopular levy but one that many cities and towns rely on to help balance their budgets. Continue reading
The state House of Representatives gaveled to order at 12:07 a.m. Sunday to debate the two-year, $44 billion state budget. Continue reading