Connecticut AG Leads Bipartisan Coalition Alleging in Amicus Briefs Big Pharma Violates Affordable Drug Mandates

Connecticut’s attorney general is leading a nationwide charge against big pharma for violating mandates of a federal drug program and to secure affordable prescription drug prices for low-income Americans.

AG William Tong announced that a pair of amicus briefs have been filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit and District of Columbia. The briefs defend actions taken by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in cases files by Sanofi SA, Novartis Pharmaceutics, United Therapeutics Corp, and NovoNorisk.

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Sen. Blumenthal’s Family Splurged on Intel Stock Before He Voted for a Massive Subsidy Bill

Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal disclosed in early March that an investment fund managed by his wife’s family purchased between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of Intel stock. A little over three weeks later, he voted for legislation handing billions in subsidies to semiconductor manufacturers that could benefit Intel.

The senator’s actions seem to indicate a conflict of interest, congressional watchdogs told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Blumenthal’s financial interests appear intertwined with companies he oversees, they said.

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Connecticut Gas Prices Rising Despite Tax Pause

Both Democrats and Republicans in Hartford worked for and celebrated the Connecticut gasoline-tax suspension that Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed in late March, but new data indicate its effect could be lessening.

The center-right Yankee Institute (YI) published an analysis on Saturday showing that the difference between gasoline costs in Connecticut and those in Massachusetts, which did not enact a similar gas-tax holiday, are narrowing.

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New Connecticut Law Will Permit School Logos, Colors in NIL Endorsements

College athletes will be able to use their school names and logos to earn cash under a new law, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The Democratic governor signed Public Act 22-11 into law this week that, beginning July 1, will give student-athletes the right to use their university or college’s name, trademarks, mascots, colors, copyrights, and other insignia to earn profits with the name, likeness, and images, known as NIL, for endorsement contracts.

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Former Connecticut Public Health Commissioner Sues over 2020 Firing

Connecticut’s former Public Health Commissioner Renee Coleman-Mitchell filed a lawsuit this week against the state and the Department of Public Health, for Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) decision to fire her in 2020.

Her lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut, alleges that Gov. Ned Lamont (D) dismissed her “simply on the basis that he did not prefer to have an older, African American female in the public eye as the individual leading the State in the fight against COVID-19.” The complaint argues that she is entitled to compensatory damages for violations of the anti-retaliation and anti-discrimination components of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as the state’s Fair Employment Practices Act.

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Connecticut Governor Signs Bill Limiting Isolated Confinement in Prisons, Jails

A new law setting limitations on isolated confinement for incarcerated individuals will take effect in Connecticut on July 1, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor signed Public Act 22-18 into law on Tuesday. The new law sets criteria for the amount of time and the circumstances under which inmates at state prisons and jails can spend in isolation. The law also sets new requirements for when isolation can be used.

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Lamont Holds Ceremony for Connecticut Abortion Rights Expansion

Gov. Ned Lamont (D-CT) held a ceremony at the state Capitol Tuesday to celebrate his recent approval of a bill strengthening legal protections for abortionists as well as those seeking to end their pregnancies in Connecticut.

The legislation also expands the list of practitioners who the state enables to perform abortions.

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Klarides Gets GOP Endorsement for Senator from Connecticut; Primary Still Likely

Themis Klarides received the endorsement of the Connecticut Republican Party last week for nomination to unseat Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal but fellow Republicans Leora Levy and Peter Lumaj got sufficient backing at the nominating convention to pursue primary campaigns.

Both Levy, a businesswoman, and Lumaj, a former secretary of state hopeful and former gubernatorial candidate, are running to the right of Klarides, a former minority leader of the state House of Representatives who has voted for gun-control legislation and favors abortion rights. Levy and Lumaj oppose both. Insofar as this year’s election will be decided amidst the expected overturning of the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion, Klarides could find her position on abortion a liability in the primary, though possibly an asset in a blue-state general election.

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Connecticut Pro-Life Leaders: ‘Good News’ – Debate over Abortion Expansion Bill ‘Exposed Cracks in Abortion Industry’s Political Support’

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) became the first governor Thursday to tout a bill affirming and expanding abortion rights following a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade and return decisions about abortion to the states.

But, leaders of the pro-life community in Connecticut say that, while “abortion will be legal for now” in the state, “the good news is that the debate over HB 5414, the Abortion Expansion Bill, has exposed cracks in the abortion industry’s political support in Connecticut.”

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Lamont Plans to Sign Connecticut Budget

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) indicated Thursday he plans to sign the $24 billion Fiscal Year 2022-23 state budget passed by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

Democratic representatives and senators likewise hailed the fiscal plan, noting the nearly $600 million in tax reduction it contains.

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Connecticut Tax Policy Changes Would Help Working Families

A pair of tax law changes that would help residents account for the costs of raising children are under consideration by the Connecticut General Assembly.

Proposals include permanently increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit to 41.5% of the federal EITC and implementing a child tax credit that would allow households $600 per child for up to three children. This would help Connecticut families, as CT Voices for Children reported, where the average cost per year for raising a child in the state is $16,990.

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Connecticut Governor Signs First Pro-Abortion Legislation After Anticipated End to Roe

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) on Thursday became the first state leader to sign legislation affirming abortion rights after a news leak revealed that the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision is likely to soon be overturned.

The bill provides legal protections to those performing or seeking abortions — including those coming in from other states to do so — and expands the list of practitioners who are permitted to perform abortion procedures.

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Connecticut State House Approves Legislative Pay Raise

By a vote of 95-53 on Tuesday, Connecticut’s State House of Representatives approved a 43-percent salary increase for state lawmakers and statewide elected officials.

It is the first such pay raise enacted since 2000. Representatives conducted no public hearings on it, having only fleetingly discussed potential adjustments to politicians’ compensation during committee meetings.

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MyHomeCT to Assist Homeowners Financially Impacted by COVID-19

Mother putting mask on child

A federally funded program designed to assist Connecticut homeowners negatively impacted by COVID-19 is now available, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced MyHomeCT, a new state program, is funded with $123 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars that were received by the state’s Department of Housing. The program is being administered by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.

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Connecticut Governor Lamont Commits to Signing Pro-Abortion Legislation into Law

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont reaffirmed his commitment to signing pro-abortion legislation, once it arrives on his desk.

The measure, House Bill 5414, would help protect “medical providers and patients seeking abortion care in Connecticut who may be traveling from other states that have outlawed abortion.”

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Latest Report Shows Continued Budget Surplus for Connecticut Leaders

Officials in Connecticut have even more funds to use than originally expected, according to a new Consensus Revenue Forecast from the Office of Policy and Management.

The report projects more than $22 billion in General Fund revenue, a stark increase from estimated funds with the budget passed last year.

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Hillsdale College Connecticut Campus Hosts First Major Event: ‘Religious Liberty and the American Founding’

SOMERS, Connecticut – Hillsdale College’s campus in Somers, Connecticut hosted its first major event over the weekend with a seminar titled “Religious Liberty and the American Founding.”

Dr. Matthew Spalding, Hillsdale’s vice president for Washington operations and dean of the college’s Van Andel Graduate School of Government, spoke Friday evening on the topic of civil and religious liberty.

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Connecticut House Passes Legislation Barring Work Meetings Discussing Unions

On Friday, Connecticut’s House of Representatives passed a bill prohibiting companies’ management from requiring workers to listen to discussions regarding labor organization, politics or religion.

The AFL-CIO, to which more than 200,000 Connecticut workers belong, lauded the move in favor of the policy — known as a “captive audience” restriction — which no other state except Oregon has enacted. Union leaders have denounced the kind of meetings banned by the legislation, complaining that such events are unfairly used to inveigh against union-organization efforts.

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Lamont: Sikorsky Deal Keeps Company in Connecticut

An agreement ratified by the General Assembly will keep a military company in Connecticut for years to come, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced an agreement has been finalized with Lockheed Martin to keep its helicopter manufacturer in the state through 2042. Sikorsky will sustain more than 7,000 jobs in the state under the new deal which could expand helicopter lines being produced at its Straftord facility.

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Carbon Reduction Bill for Connecticut’s Electric Grid Awaits Governor’s Signature

A plan to phase the Connecticut’s electric grid to zero-carbon status by 2024 is the focus of a bill that now awaits Gov. Ned Lamont’s signature.

The governor announced Senate Bill 10 focuses on a reduction on carbon emissions, which was established through an executive order in 2019, that allows state policymakers and companies in the electric sector to fully transition the grid away from natural gas and oil.

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Lamont and Legislators Moving on Connecticut Budget Deal

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) and leaders of the Democrat-controlled General Assembly are touting a $24-billion budget deal for the next fiscal year that contains almost $600 million in tax reduction.

Most of the tax relief, however, will only remain in effect through the end of the year.

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Connecticut Senate Republicans Unveil $1.2 Billion Tax Relief Plan

Providing financial relief to state residents is the focus of a tax relief plan introduced in the state Senate, Republican officials said.

The Connecticut Senate and House Republicans announced a $1.2 billion tax relief plan that would cut income taxes, reduce sales taxes, and extend the gas tax holiday.

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Committee Passes Bill to Adopt California Emissions Standards for Connecticut Trucks

Legislation to align Connecticut’s emissions standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks with California’s stringent regulations passed the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee on Monday and awaits consideration by the state House and Senate.

The regulations chiefly concern the discharge of nitrogen-oxide which is associated with worsening acid rain and smog as well as respiratory and cardiac ailments.

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Connecticut Pro-Life Black Democrat: Many Democrats ‘Shut Out of Party’ over Views Against Abortion

Connecticut State Rep. Treneé McGee (D-West Haven) was one of 14 State House Democrats – among them ten people of color, including McGee – who voted against a bill that would expand abortion rights further in Connecticut.

A report at CT Insider featured McGee’s “voice of dissent” last week as she rose to speak against the bill, recalling numerous conversations she has had with black girls over the years about abortion.

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Connecticut Approved for Federal Funds for Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Connecticut has been approved to receive federal funding for new substance abuse treatments, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced the state will receive $30 million in annual Medicaid funding that will benefit residents who are struggling with substance abuse to provide them heightened treatment. Funding will also cover residential care services while increasing provider payment rates.

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Connecticut State Employee Contracts Ratified

By a 22-13 vote, Connecticut’s state Senate on Friday ratified contracts with state workers estimated to cost taxpayers roughly $1.9 billion.

The Democrat-controlled state House of Representatives approved the agreements with the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) 96-52 the prior day. All House Democrats and only one House Republican, Thomas Delnicki (R-South Windsor), voted for the deals. The Senate vote came down along party lines.

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Lamont Sends $8 Million to Fund Connecticut Summer Enrichment Program

Ned Lamont

An investment of federal funds will benefit schoolchildren throughout Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced $8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds will be invested in the Summer Enrichment Program. The funding will be sent to the Department of Education, which will disperse the funds to programs designed to help students continue to be connected to high-quality education programs when school is not in session.

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Connecticut to Use New Math Curricula to Benefit Students

Classroom of students.

Middle and high school students in Connecticut will benefit from a new curriculum, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor, along with Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker, announced a new statewide curriculum for math students around the state. The first phase features math instruction for students in grades 6 to 8 and financial literacy courses for students in grades 6 to 12.

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Nearly 3,000 State Workers in Connecticut Had Salaries Exceeding the Governor’s in 2021

A review of Connecticut’s salary records published by the center-right Yankee Institute (YI) Thursday indicated that 2,927 state employees received higher salaries than the governor in 2021.

State statute confers a $150,000 yearly salary on Gov. Ned Lamont (D). Approximately 2,000 state employees earned higher pay than him through 2017. Over the next three years, that number rose by nearly 1,000.

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Hillsdale College Begins Academic Programming at Connecticut ‘Faith and Freedom’ Campus

Hillsdale College’s Blake Center for Faith and Freedom in Somers, Connecticut, has begun its academic programming that includes seminars, lectures, training sessions for K-12 teachers, and community events, according to information sent to The Connecticut Star.

Hillsdale spokeswoman Emily Stack Davis sent information about the start of the Blake Center’s spring offerings, noting that its programs “will focus on Christianity, Western Civilization, and America.”

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Gov. Lamont Vows to Keep Abortion Legal in Connecticut If Roe v. Wade Goes

Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Connecticut) gathered at the Lyceum Center in Hartford with abortion advocates on Tuesday to promise abortion rights will continue in the state regardless of any forthcoming decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The right to choose is under attack in numerous states across America,” Lamont declared, flanked by representatives of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England and the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund. “We won’t let that happen in Connecticut.”

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Connecticut Fiscal Conservatives Warn Against SEBAC Contracts

The Yankee Institute (YI), Connecticut’s premier economically conservative think tank, is exhorting state lawmakers to reject contracts that the Lamont administration negotiated with the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC).

YI began warning against the eventual fiscal consequences of the agreements after the public-employee labor coalition started publicizing their major features in mid-March. Later that month, the SEBAC’s 15 unions approved the agreements and, on April 1, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) requested that the Democrat-controlled General Assembly ratify the deals, characterizing them as “responsible and fair.”

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Connecticut Unemployment Claims Slightly Rising

Unemployment is slowly recovering in Connecticut, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor.

In its latest Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report, there was an increase in 18,000 initial claims filed throughout the country for the week ending April 9, with a total of 185,000 claims. The four-week moving average for the number of claims filed was set at 172,250, which was adjusted by 2,000 from the previous week’s number.

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Governor Lamont Announces Slew of Judicial Nominations

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont on Wednesday announced a slew of new judicial nominations, including one to fill a future vacancy on the state’s Supreme Court.

In total, Lamont nominated 13 individuals to the judicial branch, ranging from the Supreme Court seat to the Connecticut Superior Court.

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Connecticut’s Gas Tax Holiday Providing Savings, but Impacting Small Businesses

While Connecticut’s gas tax holiday is saving residents at the pump, the savings just isn’t enough, one industry expert says.

Chris Herb, president of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, said the tax holiday that expires June 30 is viewed very highly from consumers.

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Progressives Ask Connecticut Lawmakers to Expand Medicaid to Illegal Immigrant Minors

Progressives this week are pushing for Connecticut lawmakers to extend HUSKY Health, the state’s Medicaid program, to illegal-immigrant minors at an estimated cost of $1.9 million.

Last year, reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Constitution State enacted a measure to make illegal-alien children under the age of eight eligible for HUSKY, a policy that will take effect at the beginning of next year. But some say those between the ages of nine and 18 should not be left out of the program.

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Connecticut Legislative Intervention Sought to Repay Pandemic Unemployment Loans

Connecticut businesses are on the hook for $463 million in unemployment assistance the state owes to the federal government.

As the state’s businesses are facing higher taxes and additional assessments this fall, the state is eyeing a repayment of nearly half of the $900 million it borrowed, according to a report by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, to cover record unemployment claims throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Republican Candidate for Connecticut Governor Won’t Commit to Banning Trans Athletes

Connecticut’s Republican nominee for governor Tuesday would not commit to banning biologically male transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports, instead choosing to tiptoe around the issue. 

“Connecticut law prohibits discrimination,” Bob Stefanowski reportedly said. “It’s incumbent upon the high school athletic conferences to seek out the voices of young female athletes, coaches and parents to come up with policies that ensure a level playing field and protect girls’ sports.”

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Assisted Suicide Bill Defeated in Connecticut Judiciary Committee

Senators on the Connecticut General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee defeated legislation this week that would have permitted terminally ill adults to obtain substances to hasten their deaths. 

Typically, members of both chambers vote in Connecticut’s legislative committees. Regarding the assisted-suicide bill, Rep. Craig Fishbein (R-Wallingford) moved to split the committee to take a vote from delegations from each chamber. When the committee’s nine senators voted, one Democrat, Mae Flexer (D-Windham) sided with the panel’s four Republicans, killing the bill, which had previously passed the Public Health Committee. 

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Governor Lamont Awards Contract for Study to Ensure ‘Equitable Outcomes’

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced on Monday a new contract that was awarded to Griffin & Strong, P.C, a law and public policy consulting firm in Atlanta, Georgia.

The contract will give the group almost $900,000 for an “independent disparity study relative to the State of Connecticut’s contracting practices and procedures.”

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Robert Hyde, ‘America First’ Candidate, Seeks Republican Nomination to Defeat Connecticut U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal

U.S. Marine Corps Operation Iraqi Freedom War Veteran Robert F. Hyde says he wants to unseat Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal in order to return America’s “core values” to its citizens and “secure the nation’s liberties and freedoms.”

In an interview with The Connecticut Star, Hyde said he is seeing Americans’ constitutional rights being “undermined” in both Washington, DC, and his own state of Connecticut.

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Volvo Says Connecticut Following California Emissions Standards Would ‘Pose Problems’

In a podcast discussion with Motor Transport Association of Connecticut President Joe Sculley on Friday, Volvo Group North America spokesperson Dawn Fenton objected to the Constitution State following California’s carbon-emission regulations for trucks.

California is the only state possessing a waiver allowing it to establish its own emission controls which are stronger than those required by the federal Clean Air Act. Environmental progressives have backed the waiver, which former President Donald Trump rescinded and which President Joe Biden reactivated last month.

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Connecticut Republican Lawmakers Issue New Call for Public Hearings Regarding The State’s School Construction Financing Program

Connecticut lawmakers are renewing their calls for immediate legislative public hearings on the state’s school construction financing program, according to a press release by the Connecticut Senate Republicans.

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Connecticut Bill Proposes Investing State Funds into ‘Underserved Communities’

The Connecticut General Assembly is in the early stages of reviewing a bill that has been touted as a mechanism of infusing state resources into underserved and low-income communities.

As written, Senate Bill 481 would require the investment of state funds into community banks, community credit unions and community development financial institutions.

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Communities Grant Program to Send $45 Million to 12 Connecticut Cities for Improvement Projects

Ned Lamont

A total of 12 cities will be receiving funding through Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s new grant program.

The governor announced $45 million will be awarded through the Connecticut Communities Challenge Grant Program, which works to leverage $74 million in nonstate, private funding to prop up projects aimed at improving livability and vibrance of cities.

“Investing in our communities is a key part of our plan to accelerate long-lasting and equitable economic development in Connecticut,” Lamont said in a release. “This new grant program we launched will have wide-ranging impacts as we emerge stronger than ever from the pandemic, creating new jobs, improving the vibrancy and quality of life in our neighborhoods, and making all corners of the state even more attractive for investment and opportunity.”

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Connecticut No Longer First in Personal Income Per Capita

New data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reveals that Connecticut is no longer first place among states in terms of per-capita personal income.

The Constitution State’s per-capita individual income exceeded every other states’ since 1987. Last year, however, Massachusetts outranked Connecticut regarding individuals’ mean income. The latter state’s residents averaged a yearly income of $82,475 each, whereas the former’s average earner got $82,082 annually. (The national average was $63,444.)

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Connecticut Secretary of State: Multilingual ‘Virtual Poll Worker’ System to ‘Eliminate Language and Cultural Barriers’ for Voters

Denise Merrill

Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill announced the launch of a Multilingual Virtual Poll Worker system in a Tuesday press release. The system, according to Merrill, will “eliminate language and cultural barriers and make it easier for people to cast their ballots and make their voices heard.”

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USPS Working with Connecticut Police to Halt Mail Crimes

In what has been an ongoing theme, a division of the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been working to crack down on crimes committed by mail. 

This time, their focus has been on Connecticut. 

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Connecticut GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Stefanowski Picks Devlin as Running Mate

Bob Stefanowski and Laura Devlin

Connecticut Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski announced Tuesday at Fairfield Town Hall that he has picked Deputy House Minority Leader Laura Devlin (R-Fairfield) as his running mate.

Stefanowski is challenging Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) bid for reelection. A former chief executive officer of the Dollar Financial Group who previously worked for General Electric, the Republican candidate touted Devlin’s background as an entrepreneur before she became a legislator in 2015.

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