Yale University President Pledges to Prioritize ‘Diversity’ When Filling High Ranking Roles

Yale University’s president promised to prioritize diversity while filling six high-ranking positions in the administration, according to student newspaper Yale Daily News.

President Peter Salovey will make six appointments to high-level positions currently being held by interim or retiring faculty by the end of the spring 2023 semester, the News reported. He said that he will make diversity a priority when filling the positions, which include four cabinet positions as well as director and leadership titles.

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Connecticut Gov. Lamont Unveils $20 Million Energy Relief Plan

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has unveiled a new energy plan that pumps more money into fuel assistance to provide short-term relief for consumers, while taking steps to wean the state off fossil fuels.

Under a plan unveiled this week, Lamont has directed the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program to increase fuel assistance payments to qualifying residents by another $430 this season to help with home heating costs, and unpaid utility bills through the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

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Report: Connecticut Legal Aid Saved State Millions

Connecticut saved taxpayers millions of dollars through a pandemic-related program that provided legal representation to low-income tenants facing eviction, according to a new report.

The report on the state’s right-to-counsel program, prepared by the independent consulting firm Stout, found that by preventing evictions or helping tenants find new housing before they’re evicted likely saved Connecticut taxpayers between $5.8 and $6.3 million from the end of January to the end of November 2022. 

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Connecticut Highest in Monthly Electric Bills in Continental United States

A new study finds Connecticut has the highest monthly electric bills in the continental United States, with residents paying an average of $173.16 per month, or, $2077.94 for the yearly total in 2022.

According to the study, conducted by real estate data company Ownerly, Connecticut trailed only Hawaii for the highest monthly electric bills in 2022. Hawaiians paid an average monthly electric bill of $210.26, or, $2,523.14 for the year.

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Chicago School Audit Finds Nearly 500 Sexual Complaints Filed in 2022

Chicago school officials this week revealed that the school system recorded nearly 500 sexual complaints over the last year, with investigators stressing their inability to respond to a majority of all complaints they receive.

The Chicago Board of Education Office of Inspector General said in its 2022 annual report that it received 470 “sexual allegation” complaints over the course of FY2022.

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Connecticut Towns Seeking Tax Relief, More Education

Connecticut cities and towns are seeking tax relief and more money for education from the state as a new legislative session gets underway. 

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities has released a list of legislative priorities that its 168 municipal members believe “merit priority action” by Gov. Ned Lamont and the General Assembly before the regular session ends in June. 

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Truckers Weigh Options on New Connecticut Highway Tax

Truckers are criticizing a new Connecticut law charging them a tax for driving on the state’s roadways, with a trade group weighing a legal challenge. 

The new law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, requires commercial truckers to pay rates ranging from 2.5 cents per mile for trucks with a gross weight of 26,000 pounds to 10 cents per mile for trucks weighing 80,000 pounds. Trucks weighing more than 80,000 pounds are slated to pay 17.5 cents per mile under the new regulations. 

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Connecticut Lawmakers, Top Statewide Officials Receive Significant Salary Hikes

Members of the Connecticut General Assembly and top-level statewide officials receive significant pay raises Wednesday that include a jump in base salary for the part-time lawmakers from $28,000 to $40,000.

State lawmakers voted last May to approve the legislation that grants the pay hikes for themselves and other specified leadership positions.

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Yale Academic Departments Have Websites, Statements Dedicated to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Yale University academic departments have implemented efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Academic departments including anesthesiology, history, and mathematics have diversity statements or dedicated pages for diversity on their websites. The Yale Math Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) says that “the department has convened a standing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) committee that meets regularly.”

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Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia Among 18 States Banning Social Media App TikTok from State Devices

Following South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem’s lead, nearly half of U.S. states have put restrictions on or banned the use of Chinese-based social media app TikTok.

At least 19 states have banned TikTok on government-issued devices – Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utha, Virginia and West Virginia.

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Connecticut-Based Helicopter Firm Appeals Army Contract Rejection

With backing from Gov. Ned Lamont, a Connecticut-based company is appealing the U.S. Army’s rejection of its multimillion dollar bid for a defense contract to build long-range helicopters.

Sikorsky Aircraft, maker of the iconic Blackhawk helicopters, had submitted a proposal to the U.S. Army to produce its Defiant-X helicopter as part of the next generation of long-range helicopters. But the Army announced earlier this month that it was awarding the $1.3 billion contract to Bell Textron, a Texas-based company.

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Kari Lake Appeals Dismissal of Arizona Election Lawsuit

Kari Lake, the Arizona Republican nominee for governor, is appealing a Maricopa County judge’s dismissal of her lawsuit challenging her defeat to Democrat Katie Hobbs, who is currently serving as secretary of state. 

In a notice of appeal filed Tuesday, Lake asked the Arizona Superior Court to reconsider all 10 counts that she brought up in her original lawsuit as well as the attorneys’ fees she was ordered to pay.

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Connecticut Diverts More Federal Funds for Fuel Assistance

Connecticut is pumping more federal funds into its fuel assistance program to provide the state’s low income energy consumers with more relief this winter.

The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program says it will be increasing fuel assistance payments to qualifying residents by another $430 this season, to help with home heating costs and unpaid utility bills through the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

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Kari Lake Says Appeal Coming Following Dismissal from Superior Court Judge

Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake had her election challenge completely dismissed by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson Saturday. Following the ruling, Lake tweeted that an appeal would be coming.

“My Election Case provided the world with evidence that proves our elections are run outside of the law. This Judge did not rule in our favor. However, for the sake of restoring faith and honesty in our elections, I will appeal his ruling,” tweeted Lake.

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New England Lawmakers Seek More Federal Drought Relief for Farmers

Congressional lawmakers in Connecticut and Rhode Island have teamed up to seek more federal relief funding to help New England livestock feed producers, and other farmers impacted by severe drought conditions. 

In a letter to House and Senate budget leaders, members of congressional delegations from both states urged them to pump more money into relief programs, and expand eligibility to drought-wary forge farmers in the region, who they said are being left out of federal assistance programs. 

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Day Two of Kari Lake Election Challenge Trial Sees More Witnesses, Closing Arguments from Both Sides

The court battle challenging the validity of the certified outcome of Arizona’s 2022 gubernatorial election entered its second day Thursday under Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson, with attorneys for Republican Kari Lake, Democrat Katie Hobbs, and Maricopa County presenting their final arguments in the trial. Lake seeks to…

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Sen. Ron Johnson Argues to Eliminate $9.8 Billion in Earmarks From $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Bill

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (R) joined with his colleagues Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Rand Paul (R-KY) to oppose the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill and argue for an amendment that would eliminate all earmarks.

“Thousands of individual projects here, both Democrat and Republican,” Johnson said Tuesday during a press conference

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Day One of Kari Lake Election Contest Trial Sees Testimony from Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer and Election Integrity Expert Heather Honey

The first of two days of oral arguments from Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake’s challenge of the 2022 general election outcome began Wednesday morning, overseen by Judge Peter Thompson in the Maricopa County Superior Court. Testimonies were heard from several officials and experts.

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Connecticut Police Union OKs Contract with Pay Raises, Other Perks

Connecticut state troopers will be the highest paid law enforcement officials in the state under a newly approved contract, which includes pay raises and other perks.

The Connecticut State Police Union, which represents about 840 rank and file troopers and sergeants, said it has ratified a four-year contract negotiated with Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration that includes a 2.5% pay raise, a double-digit increase in starting pay, and annual lump sum payments of 2% for senior troopers. 

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Judge Rules Kari Lake Election Contest Will Go to Trial

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ruled late Monday that Kari Lake’s election contest lawsuit will go to trial on Wednesday.

The judge’s ruling came hours after attorneys for the defendants–Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors–and the plaintiff, GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, delivered oral arguments in court on both sides of the defendants’ motion to dismiss all ten counts set forward in Lake’s 70 page lawsuit.

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Court Rules That Boys Can Continue Dominating Girls’ Sports in Connecticut

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of two biological male athletes who competed in girls’ sports when it dismissed claims brought against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference by four female track runners Friday.

Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools was first filed in 2019 after two biological male athletes, Andraya Yearwood and Thania Edwards, won various track and field titles after a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference policy permitted them to compete in the women’s division, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs, represented by the conservative legal nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), alleged that female competitors lost opportunities to compete at elite levels.

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Illegal Entries into Vermont Surge in November

Foreign nationals illegally entering the U.S. are increasingly entering through Vermont at an unprecedented rate.

In October, the Swanton Sector of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes all of Vermont, saw a 676% increase in apprehensions of illegal foreign nationals compared to last year, according to Border Patrol data. Agents apprehended 334 people from 19 countries in October, and the “upward trend continues,” Swanton Sector Chief Border Patrol Agent Robert Garcia said.

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Zuckerbucks-Backed Group Back in Wisconsin

The liberal voting activist group that dumped $350 million of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s money on local election offices during the 2020 presidential election is back again with another $80 million to give over the next five years.

And Wisconsin once again will be front and center in the Center for Tech and Civic Life’s “generosity.”

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Connecticut Receives $5.7 Million from Feds for Internet

Connecticut is receiving $5 million in federal grants to expand high-speed internet service, and fill gaps in coverage in low-income communities. 

The money, provided through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Internet for All initiative, includes a $4.2 million Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment grant and a $736,568 Digital Equity grant. 

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Connecticut to Receive $127 Million from Opioid Settlement

Connecticut is slated to receive another payout from a multi-state opioid settlement involving two of the nation’s largest retail pharmacies. 

Under the tentative deal, CVS and Walgreens have agreed to pay state and local governments a combined total of more than $10 billion to settle lawsuits over the toll of highly-addictive prescription opioids.

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Lamont Reaches Tentative Deal with Connecticut Police Union

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has reached a tentative contract with the state police union he says will improve trooper recruitment and retention. 

Details of the tentative agreement, which must be approved by the unions rank and file membership, weren’t disclosed, but Lamont said the contract covered wages, benefits and working conditions. 

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New England Governors Face Push Back from Maritime Groups

Maritime groups are criticizing New England governors for urging the Biden administration to lift federal restrictions banning foreign vessels in domestic waters in response to a regional energy crunch. 

In a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in July, the chief executives called for a blanket waiver from the Jones Act, which requires cargo shipped between U.S. ports to be transported on American owned and operated ships.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Approve Gas Tax Holiday Extension

Connecticut motorists will continue to see relief at the pumps after the state Legislature approved an extension of the gas tax holiday until next year.

Meeting in a special session on Monday, the Democrat controlled House and Senate approved a proposal to waive the 25 cents per gallon retail tax on gasoline until Dec. 31. The gas tax holiday, which was initially approved in April, was set to expire Nov. 30. 

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VoterGA Reports Proof of Herschel Walker’s 20,000 Vote Loss in the General Election

VoterGA reported further evidence Friday that the organization said substantiates the more than 20,000-vote decline in Herschel Walker’s U.S. Senate election vote count at 10 p.m. on the night of Election Day last month.

According to a press release from the nonprofit coalition of citizens working to restore election integrity in Georgia, “before and after” screenshots of interim election results reported by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) for the 2022 General Election “show the inexplicable decrease for Herschel Walker.”

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Yale Allegedly Pressured Students with ‘Mental Health’ Issues to Quit Class, Leave School, Lawsuit Claims

Yale University allegedly discriminated against students hospitalized for a mental illness by threatening to unenroll them from courses, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by Yale students and alumni.

The lawsuit, filed by Yale’s mental health advocacy group Elis for Rachel and two current students, claims that university officials visited students who were hospitalized for attempted suicide and pressured them to withdraw from classes. The plaintiffs also allege the administrators threatened to forcibly unenroll them if they refused to withdraw voluntarily.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Seek Hearings over Energy Rate Hikes

Connecticut lawmakers are calling for regional public hearings over a proposal by one of the state’s largest utilities to dramatically hike electricity rates.

In a letter to the state Public Utility Regulatory Authority, a group of 20 state senators wrote that they are “profoundly disturbed” by Eversource’s proposed rate increase, and called for hearings on the “exorbitant and punishing” rate increase. 

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Yale and Harvard Law Schools Quit Popular Annual Rankings Report

Yale Law School, rated No. 1 by an influential ratings guide put out by the magazine U.S. News & World Report, announced it would quit the rankings Wednesday, according to a news release by Yale Law School dean Heather Gerken.

“The U.S. News rankings are profoundly flawed — they disincentivize programs that support public interest careers, champion need-based aid, and welcome working-class students into the profession,” Dean Gerken wrote.

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Connecticut Gets Boost from Credit Rating Agency

A Wall Street credit rating firm has bumped up Connecticut’s score for its general obligation bonds, citing the state’s ever improving financial outlook. 

Standard & Poor’s announced Monday, it is upgrading Connecticut’s general obligation bond credit rating from A+ (positive) to AA- (stable), as the state prepares to issue more than $900 million in bonds next week for school construction and other public projects. 

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Court Vacates Contempt Order Against Catherine Englebrecht and Gregg Phillips

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Texas-based True the Votes’ Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips by vacating a contempt order filed against them by a district court.

“Catherine and Gregg offer their profound gratitude to the Fifth Circuit’s vindication and are committed more strongly than ever to defending the integrity of American elections,” according to a statement from True the Vote.

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Obama to Campaign with Warnock Urging Georgians to Cast Early Ballots in Runoff

Former President Barack Obama will rally with Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) on December 1, and urge Georgians to cast early ballots for Warnock in his runoff U.S. Senate race against Republican Herschel Walker.

According to a report at NBC News, Obama’s team said, following the former president’s rally for Warnock at the end of October, attendees “signed up to complete hundreds of door knocking shifts.”

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Arizona AG Opens Inquiry into Maricopa County Election Irregularities, Possible Legal Violations

The Arizona attorney general’s office has opened an inquiry into Maricopa County’s handling of the mid-term elections, demanding a full report of well-publicized irregularities and warning there is evidence of “statutory violations.”

The letter from Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s election integrity unit marks a major escalation in the dispute over how voters were treated on Election Day in the state’s largest county, where scores of ballot tabulators had problems because of printing problems.

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Connecticut Leaders Blast Higher Energy Costs

Connecticut energy consumers will be digging deeper into their pockets this winter with the state’s two largest utilities seeking hefty rate increases.

In a filing to the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, Eversource is proposing to increase electric rates charged to consumers by nearly 50%, or $85 per month for the average customer.

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Elite Connecticut High School Encourages Faculty to Swear Fealty to Anti-Racism

A Connecticut boarding school is encouraging their faculty to acknowledge their whiteness and pledge political change, according to the school website.

Taft Boarding School in Watertown, Connecticut, has a “Taft Anti-Bias, Anti-Racism Caucus” (TABARC) as a part of their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, for faculty to increase their “anti-bias, anti-racist literacy,” accordingto the school website. The group aims to acknowledge that they are “white,” affirm they are “anti-racist” and “pledge to caucus for personal and political change.”

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Former Local Connecticut Democrat Party Chair Sentenced to Probation and Fines in Absentee Ballot Fraud Case

The former Democrat Party chair of Stamford, Connecticut, was sentenced Monday to two years of probation and $35,000 in fines after being found guilty in an absentee ballot fraud case from the 2015 elections.

Superior Court Judge Kevin Randolph, who found John Mallozzi guilty during his trial last month on 14 counts each of charges of forgery and making false statements in absentee ballots – both felonies, sentenced him to two years of probation and $35,000 in fines.

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Yale Law School Withdraws from School Rankings List in the Name of ‘Equity’

Yale Law School has pulled out of a national school ranking, calling the program “flawed” because it hurts schools that admit students with lower test scores, according to a press release.

Yale Law School is removing itself from the U.S. News & World Report after consistently ranking first because it fails to reward schools which help students who come from “low-income backgrounds,” according to a press release. Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken said the rankings discriminate against schools that accept students with lower grades because they could not afford tutoring and academic services.

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Connecticut Democrats Swept State and Congressional Races but Worry Their Candidates Underperformed in Cities

Unofficial results on the Connecticut Secretary of State’s website suggest Democrats beat back Republicans in state races and in the entire congressional delegation, but the state Democrat Party apparently registered concerns that Governor Ned Lamont (D) underperformed in Connecticut’s large cities, areas in which its candidates typically win easily.

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Yale Charges Its Own Buildings for Carbon Emissions

A program at Yale University will “charge” its own buildings for carbon outputs and then use that money to reduce emissions throughout campus.

The “Carbon Charge” program previously gave funds back to buildings with the lowest energy output by essentially taxing other places on campus for carbon output.

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Campaign Begins to Educate on Responsible Cannabis Use in Connecticut

Connecticut has launched a new educational public campaign to promote responsible adult-use cannabis.

As the state has legalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis for adults age 21 and over, Gov. Ned Lamont and the state’s Department of Consumer Protection are working in unison to encourage health and safety.

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Governor Pledges Fiscal Responsibility in Connecticut Democrats’ Trifecta

Reelected Connecticut Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont on Wednesday pledged fiscal responsibility for the coming four years in Hartford.

“With a lot of edging and hedging about what we do in terms of fiscal guardrails that help get this state back on track when it comes to getting our fiscal house in order, I call them the Fonfara Rules coming out in 2017,” Lamont said. “Basically, it says you are not going to spend more than what you can count on in terms of revenues.

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Democrat Gov. Ned Lamont Declares Early Voting Ballot Measure Passed in Connecticut

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) announced a ballot measure for a constitutional amendment to allow in-person early voting in the state had been passed by voters, Hearst media reported Wednesday.

Lamont “said the question had been passed by voters as he began his speech Tuesday night in which he declared victory in his own race,” the report said.

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Broken Voting Machines Reported at Multiple Precincts in Connecticut

Multiple polling stations in Connecticut reported broken voting machines whereby voters were asked to place their ballots in an “auxiliary bin” to be counted at the end of the day.

NBC Connecticut reported “a rocky start to Election Day” in the state as ballot machines were found to be broken at the opening of the polls in some precincts.

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Kari Lake’s Campaign Headquarters Receives Package with ‘Suspicious White Powder’ in Mail: ‘We’re in Dangerous Times’

Arizona Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake reacted to her campaign headquarters receiving a package containing a “suspicious white powder” in the mail by vowing to uncover the responsible party.

“We’re in dangerous times,” Lake said Sunday, according to Fox News.

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Reports Indicate Connecticut GDP Fell in Second Quarter

The economy in Connecticut has some catching up to do.

Initial figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show the state’s economy fell behind the rest of the nation in the second quarter of 2022.

Connecticut’s gross domestic product fell by 4.7 percent between April and June, putting the state second-to-last in the nation. Meanwhile, personal income grew by only 2.2 percent.

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Richard Blumenthal Runs from Grading the Economy in Debate with Leora Levy, Says It’s ‘Ongoing,’ Can’t Give It a Grade ‘Midstream’

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sidestepped giving the economy a letter grade during his only debate with Connecticut Republican Senate candidate Leora Levy Tuesday night, but when pressed to do so by the panelist, he responded the grade is “ongoing,” and “I don’t think that we can give it a grade midstream.”

Levy, however, plainly answered, “I would grade the economy ‘F.’”

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Labor Shortage Impacting Connecticut’s Economic Recovery

A labor shortage across Connecticut has caused issues as employers are having difficulty finding qualified job applicants, hampering efforts to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, one industry expert said.

Chris DePentima, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said in a statement the state has 41% more job openings than before the pandemic, but over that same period of time more than 45,000 people have left the workforce.

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