Police Union Pushes Back over Claims About University of Connecticut Protesters

UConn Division of University Safety

The union representing University of Connecticut police is pushing back on claims officers injured pro-Palestinian protesters when they broke up an encampment last month and arrested more than two dozen people.

The Connecticut Police & Fire Union, which represents UConn police, said the claims about the April 30 encounter made by another union in a letter to school leaders was an “unconscionable attack” on the officers who were just “doing their jobs” by shutting down the “unauthorized” encampment on school grounds.

Read More

Connecticut Wrangles over Spending Controls amid $1 Billion Surplus

Connecticut Capitol

Connecticut will end the fiscal year with a record surplus, according to a new report, which is fueling calls by progressive Democrats to roll back the state’s spending controls.

The consensus revenue forecast, released by the Office of Policy and Management and Office of Fiscal Analysis on Monday, shows the state is likely to close out the fiscal year more than $645 million above initial budget projections. That’s a roughly $1 billion surplus through 2026, according to the report.

Read More

Connecticut Committee Advances Bill Proposing Increased Threshold for Felony Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Connecticut House Bill 2570, which proposes increasing the threshold for felony unemployment insurance fraud from $500 to $2000, advanced from the Joint Judiciary Committee on Apr. 5 by a vote of 24-13. The Joint Labor and Public Employees Committee approved the bill with a vote of 8-4 on Mar. 7. The bill is now pending consideration before the full Connecticut House.

Under current law, a fraudulent payment, benefit, or contribution is a class A misdemeanor if it amounts to $500 or less or a class D felony if it amounts to more than $500. The bill increases these thresholds to $2,000 or less for a class A misdemeanor and more than $2,000 for a class D felony.

Read More

Connecticut Lawmakers Approve 2.5 Percent Raises for State Workers

Worker at Desk

Tens of thousands of Connecticut state workers could be getting a bump in their paychecks with lawmakers advancing a proposal to give them a 2.5% across-the-board pay raise.

A proposal approved by the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee on Friday would authorize a 2.5% wage increase for an estimated 46,000 state employees that was hammered out in negotiations earlier this year by Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration and the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition, which represents unionized workers.

Read More

NO TRIAL: Senate Democrats Quickly Dismiss Impeachment Articles Against Mayorkas

Within 20 minutes of convening to hold an impeachment trial of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Democrats in the Senate steamrolled through motions and voted to dismiss the first article of impeachment brought against him.

Shortly thereafter, they dismissed the second article as well, without ever hearing evidence or conducting a trial.

Read More

Connecticut Lawmakers Moving to Restrict ‘Faithless’ Electors

Matt Blumenthal

Connecticut has never had a “faithless” elector who refused to certify the results of a presidential election, but some state lawmakers argue there needs to be a law preventing it.

A legislative proposal, which recently cleared a key committee, would nullify the electoral vote of a so-called “faithless” presidential elector in Connecticut who fails to cast their ballot for the candidates that the elector ran on the official ballot.

Read More

Connecticut and 11 Other States Warn Gunmaker to Retain Decades of Files

Glock Gun

An Illinois lawsuit has led Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and attorneys general from 11 other states and the District of Columbia to notify gunmaker Glock to preserve 37 years of documentation regarding its handguns.

Earlier this month, the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Glock alleging the company failed to change the design of a pistol. Chicago claims Glock knew a do-it-yourself “switch” could make the handguns a “machine gun” and resulted in a “proliferation of illegal machine guns.”

Read More

Connecticut Elections Chief Calls for Reforms After Ballot Stuffing Scandal

Stephanie Thomas

Connecticut’s top election official is calling for reforms in the wake of a ballot stuffing scandal in Bridgeport’s mayoral race, where some people were allegedly paid cash to fill out mail ballots.

Secretary of State Stephanie Thomas said her office had referred allegations about election “malfeasance” in the February redo of the mayoral race to the State Elections Enforcement Commission to investigate, including reports from voters who received absentee ballots despite not requesting them.  

Read More

Connecticut Democrats Rip Biden’s Proposed Cuts to Sub Production

Submarine

Members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation are criticizing President Joe Biden’s preliminary budget proposal that would cut spending for nuclear submarine production, saying the move would cost jobs and impact the state’s economy.

The Pentagon announced on Monday that it plans to cut a Virginia class submarine built by Groton, Connecticut-based Electric Boat from its proposed fiscal 2025 defense budget.

Read More

Connecticut Lawmakers Urged to Shine Sunlight on Local Campaign Finances

CT Capitol Money

Political contributions to municipal elected officials in Connecticut would be more accessible to the public under a proposal being considered by state lawmakers.

The legislation, which is pending before the Legislature’s Committee on Government Administration and Elections, would require candidates running for local elected office to file their required campaign disclosures with the state’s Electronic Campaign Reporting Information System, known as eCRIS, which supporters say will increase transparency in local elections.

Read More

Connecticut GOP Unveils Plan to Reduce Energy Costs

Stephen Harding

Connecticut Republicans have unveiled a slate of proposals aimed at addressing rising electricity costs in the state, which they say are putting the squeeze on energy consumers.

The package of proposed policy changes, calls for setting limits on Power Purchase Agreements by utilities so that no contract can be for more than 100% over the wholesale electric market price while providing relief to ratepayers by tapping into $190 million in unspent pandemic-related federal funds to pay down rate increases.

Read More

Yale University Reinstitutes Standardized Testing in Admissions

Yale University

Another elite university in the U.S. has backtracked on its decision to eliminate standardized testing in admissions after years of following the practice.

Yale University announced Thursday that it would be instituting a “flexible testing policy,” which allows students to submit several different test scores for admissions, including ACT, SAT, International Baccalaureate, and Advanced Placement scores, according to a Yale website. The university said that after performing extensive research, they found that “test scores are the single greatest predictor of a student’s future.”

Read More

New Report on Connecticut’s Social Studies Standards Details Troubling Effect on Students

The National Association of Scholars’ Civics Alliance coalition released a comprehensive report critiquing Connecticut’s social studies standards, which is the state’s guide for teachers detailing what students should be learning from Pre-K through 12th grade.

The 34-page report, titled “Disowned Yankees: How Connecticut’s Social Studies Standards Shortchange Students,” details how the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) produced the curriculum, the result of implementing the curriculum, as well as “recommendations for how to fix the adoption process and the substance of Connecticut’s social studies instruction, by substantive revision of the Standards.”

Read More

Connecticut Delegation Blasts Army over Helicopter Contract

Blackhawk Helicopter

Connecticut’s congressional delegation is calling on the Army to provide more details about its decision to reject a local company’s bid for a multimillion-dollar defense contract to build long-range helicopters.

Sikorsky Aircraft, maker of the iconic Blackhawk helicopters, submitted a proposal to the Army in 2018 to develop a new armed scout helicopter. But last week, the Army announced that it was scrapping its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program, delivering a major blow to the company.

Read More

Connecticut to Wipe Out $1 Billion in Medical Debt

Gov. Ned Lamont

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont plans to cancel up to $1 billion in medical debt for hundreds of thousands of residents, making it the first state to take the step.

Lamont made the announcement Friday during an appearance on ABC News, saying the plans call for leveraging $6.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds the state has received to wipe out the medical debt held by about 250,000 residents who meet the basic income qualifications.

Read More

Connecticut Proposal to Phase Out Gas-Powered Vehicles Gets a New Lane

Matt Ritter

CT lawmakers ditch plans for special session on EV mandate.

Consideration of a proposed ban on sales of new gas-powered vehicles in Connecticut could happen in regular legislative session, but will not happen in a special called one.

Read More

Ousted Iran Deal Negotiator to Teach Yale Class on Israel-Palestine Conflict Despite Ongoing FBI Investigation

Robert Malley

Robert Malley, a Biden administration official who was embroiled in controversy while working as Special Envoy to Iran, is set to teach a course on the Middle East at Yale University.

The syllabus for the class, which is titled “Contending with Israel-Palestine,” says the course will take “an in-depth look at important questions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” according to Yale Daily News.

Read More

Connecticut’s Democrat AG Shuns Ranked Choice Voting

William Tong

The election process known as ranked choice voting isn’t compatible with one of the oldest state constitutions in America, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, a Democrat, says. 

Tong released an 11-page legal opinion Tuesday stating that the system of voting, which allows voters to rank their choices of candidates, violates at least two standing provisions of the Connecticut Constitution. The state’s attorney general said it was a “close call,” however.

Read More

Connecticut Doles Out More Security Money to Houses of Worship

Churches, synagogues and mosques in Connecticut are getting more money to bolster their facilities against terror attacks or hate crimes, according to Gov. Ned Lamont. 

Lamont said state funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program will expand to $5 million this year. The grants can reimburse nonprofits for the cost of metal detectors and surveillance cameras, adding more lighting, fencing, or locks and other security upgrades.

Read More

Poll: Connecticut Voters Oppose Electric Vehicles Sales Mandates

EV Charging

A majority of Connecticut voters oppose a Democrat-led push to phase out the sale of gas-powered vehicles in the state, according to a new poll.

The poll commissioned by the Specialty Equipment Market Association — a trade association representing aftermarket auto manufacturers and retailers — found that nearly 60% of the voters surveyed opposed proposed legislation to phase out the sale of gas- and diesel-powered cars and trucks over the next decade.

Read More

New England Outages Point to Grid Issues That Are Often Blamed on ‘Extreme Weather’

Power Grids

Storms in New England over the weekend have left thousands of people without power. Government data and studies show that these weather-related outages are becoming more frequent and lasting longer, which is often attributed to climate change, but analyses of grid resilience and research into disaster costs question that conclusion.  

In New York, about 55,000 people were without power on Monday morning after a storm brought high winds and two to four inches of rain, according to The New York Post. The same storm left as many as 45,000 households without power Monday morning, NJ.com reported. As of 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time Monday, 226,626 residents of Maine were without power, and local Maine television stations say the worst may be yet to come.

Read More

Connecticut to Wipe Clean 80,000 Criminal Records

Connecticut is set to wipe clean the criminal records of more than 80,000 people with previous convictions under a long-delayed law set to go into effect in the new year. 

The Clean Slate law, which was approved by the state Legislature in 2021, will automatically erase the criminal records of people seven years after the date of their conviction for a misdemeanor or 10 years after the date of their conviction for certain low-level felonies if they hadn’t been convicted of other crimes.

Read More

Connecticut Non-Disclosure Agreement Advocates Enlist Former FOX News Anchors

Gretchen Carlson

A push to ban non-disclosure agreements in Connecticut is getting a boost from former Fox News anchors turned women’s rights advocates pushing for its approval.

Connecticut lawmakers are expected to revisit a proposal that would ban employers from imposing contracts that prevent employees from talking about their claims of workplace sexual harassment or assault. Democrats back in the proposal say they expect to file the bill in early 2024 when the new legislative session begins.

Read More

Poll: One in Five Mail-In Voters Admit to Committing Voter Fraud in 2020 Election

One in five voters who cast mail-in ballots during the November 2020 election admit to committing voter fraud, according to a new poll by The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports.

The poll of 1,085 likely voters released on Tuesday, which was conducted from November 30 to December 6, asked, “During the 2020 election, did you fill out a ballot, in part or in full, on behalf of a friend or family member, such as a spouse or child?” A total of 21% of respondents who said they had cast mail-in ballots answered ‘yes.’

Read More

Enthusiasm Plummets Young Voters Ahead of 2024

A majority of young voters are not planning on voting in the 2024 presidential election, according to a new Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School poll published Tuesday.

The number of Americans under 30 “definitely” planning to vote dropped from 57% in 2020 to 49%, according to the poll. Democrats, who typically receive the most support from young voters, suffered the smallest drop from 68% to 66%, but young Republicans dropped 10 percentage points from 66% to 56%, with independents having similar results, going from 41% to 31%.

Read More

Muslims in Swing States Turning Against Biden

Muslim Americans, some of whom live in crucial swing states, are set to launch a campaign that will officially oppose Joe Biden’s re-election bid in 2024.

Axios reports that the campaign, titled “#AbandonBiden,” launched on Saturday with a gathering in Michigan. It consists of left-wing Muslim Americans who oppose Biden’s support for Israel as the country wages war against the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas.

Read More

Connecticut Reduces Workers’ Compensation Rates for Employers

Connecticut businesses will pay less for workers’ compensation insurance next year, with the state again reducing premiums paid by private employers, which regulators say reflects an ongoing decline in claims. 

The Connecticut Insurance Department has approved an annual workers’ compensation rate filing for 2024 with a decrease of 9.8% in voluntary market loss costs and a decrease of 10.5% in assigned risk plan rates. 

Read More

Report: Connecticut’s Revenue Down, Budget Still Balanced

Connecticut’s revenues are down about $460 million, according to a new report, which says the state’s financial outlook remains positive despite a drop in tax collections.

The consensus revenue forecast, released by the Office of Policy and Management and Office of Fiscal Analysis on Monday, shows the state is likely to close out the fiscal year more than $630 million above initial budget projections. That’s still a surplus but well below the $1.1 billion projections when the budget was approved in June.

Read More

Yale Is a ‘Campus Without Care’ After Hosting ‘Anti-Israel’ Event, Jewish Students Say

Two students said Yale University barred them from an “anti-Israel” event this week, prompting them to listen through the door to “two hours of denial, lies and incitement” against Jews like themselves.

Sahar Tartak, a sophomore, said in a post on X that she believes her school “has become a campus without care for its Jews.”

Read More

Judge Orders New Democrat Mayoral Primary in Connecticut After Seeing ‘Shocking’ Ballot-Stuffing Videos

A Superior Court judge in Connecticut has ordered a new Democrat mayoral primary in Bridgeport after surveillance videos showed a Democrat official apparently stuffing absentee ballots into an outdoor ballot box ahead of the original primary.

Incumbent Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim won the election by 251 votes out of 8,173 cast, and absentee ballots reportedly played a deciding role in his margin of victory.

Read More

Tong and 18 Other Attorneys General Oppose Opt-Out Option from LGBTQ+ Books for Second Graders

 A coalition of 19 attorneys general filed an amicus brief in support of a local Maryland board of education’s policy that does not allow parents to opt their children out of LGBTQ+ inclusive texts. The lawsuit was filed by three families against the Montgomery County Board of Education, with two of the three families suing on behalf of policies for their second grade children, while the third did not list the grade level of its elementary school children. The parents, who are Muslim, Roman Catholic, and Ukrainian Orthodox, filed their lawsuit on religious freedom grounds. 

Read More

Group Seeks to Overturn Connecticut Religious Exemption Ban

Critics of a Connecticut law banning religious exemptions from school vaccination requirements have lost several rounds in federal court but are planning to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.

A lawsuit, filed by We the Patriots USA Inc. on behalf of parents whose children attend a school at Milford Christian Church, argued that Connecticut violated their First Amendment rights by repealing the state’s long-held religious exemptions to childhood vaccines.

Read More

Minnesota Rep. Emmer Wins GOP House Speaker Nomination

Minnesota GOP Rep. Tom Emmer, the House majority whip, won his party’s nomination for House speaker on Tuesday after five rounds of secret ballot voting. His nomination now moves to the House floor where it needs at least 217 votes to pass. It’s unclear when the vote will be held.

Read More

Trump Gaining Ground with Young Voters: Poll

Former President Donald Trump is gaining ground with young voters ahead of 2024, and is faring better than President Joe Biden among the electorate, according to a Friday poll.

Trump is leading Biden among voters aged 18 to 29 by 2 points, as well as with 30- to 39-year-olds by 11 points, according to an Emerson College survey. Trump is also leading Biden in a head-to-head matchup 47% to 45% nationally, with 8% remaining undecided.

Read More

Blumenthal and Other Democrat Lawmakers Urge Biden to Reduce Energy Costs

A group of Democratic senators are calling on President Joe Biden to provide more funding for fuel assistance with winter approaching. 

In a letter to Biden administration officials, Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, led by nearly 30 other Democrats, urged the White House Office of Management and Budget and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to “take additional steps” to reduce energy costs for Americans through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. 

Read More

Connecticut Attorney General Pledges to Scrutinize Gas Rate Hike

Connecticut’s consumer advocates are pushing back against natural gas rate increases sought by one of the state’s largest utilities, which comes as the company fights state regulators’ rejection of an electric rate hike in court.

In filings to the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, Southern Connecticut Natural Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas request approval to increase their average gas distribution rates by 5-9% during the winter season.

Read More

Yale Study: Asians Feel ‘Invisible’ in Medical School

A group of Yale doctors and other healthcare researchers recently published a small study that stated there is “anti-Asian racism” in medical school programs and concluded that Asian students are “invisible.”

However, the researchers who conducted the study rejected the idea that a small sample size and biased sampling methods made the study inapplicable.

Read More

Connecticut to Move Presidential Primary Date

Connecticut is one of the last states in the nation to hold a presidential primary, but that would change under a proposal awaiting action by Gov. Ned Lamont.

A proposal approved by the state Legislature last week during a special session would change the presidential primary date to the first Tuesday in April, which in the next nominating cycle would be April 2. Under the current law, the primary is held on the last Tuesday, which would be April 30. Lamont, who backs the move, is expected to sign the bill into law.

Read More

Connecticut to Spend $25 Million on New Voting Machines

Connecticut will spend $25 million to replace its aging voting machines ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Gov. Ned Lamont said the State Bond Commission will vote at its Oct. 6 meeting to approve the borrowing to purchase new ballot-counting tabulators for use in elections and primaries statewide. He said the current voting machines are over 17 years old and approaching the end of their useful life.

Read More

Connecticut Lawmakers Press for Absentee Ballot Probe into September Incident

Connecticut lawmakers are calling for an investigation and changes in state election laws following allegations of absentee ballot fraud in a mayoral election.

Following the Sept. 12 primary, John Gomes, a Democrat who challenged incumbent Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, released video footage showing a woman depositing absentee ballots into a dropbox a week before the election. Gomes lost to Ganim by 251 mail-in or absentee votes despite beating him at the polls, according to the election results.

Read More

Connecticut’s Indexed Minimum Wage Set to Rise in 2024

Wages will rise for hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers in Connecticut next year under a 2019 law that pegs the state’s minimum wage to the federal employment index. 

Beginning Jan. 1, Connecticut’s wage floor will rise from $15.00 per hour to $15.69 per hour as a result of the state’s first-ever economic indicator adjustment. 

Read More

Former Yale Student Accused of Rape Can Sue His Accuser for Defamation, Court Rules

A former Yale student who was acquitted of rape in 2018, and later kicked out of the college, can sue his accuser for defamation over statements the accuser made during a school hearing, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in June, according to the New York Post.

Saifullah Khan sued Yale in 2019 for $110 million, and has been attempting to bring his accuser into the lawsuit, according to the Post. The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled ruled that he can sue the accuser, and that she shouldn’t received “qualified immunity,” which prevents people from being sued over statements in judicial cases, from her testimony that Khan raped her in 2015.

Read More

Connecticut’s Indexed Minimum Wage to Rise in 2024

Wages will rise for hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers in Connecticut next year under a 2019 law that pegs the state’s minimum wage to the federal employment index. 

Beginning Jan. 1, Connecticut’s wage floor will rise from $15.00 per hour to $15.69 per hour as a result of the state’s first-ever economic indicator adjustment. 

Read More

Connecticut Health Exchange Plans to Rise by 9.4 Percent

The cost of health insurance plans offered through Connecticut’s Affordable Care Act Exchange will increase next year by nearly double digits, state insurance regulators said.  

The Connecticut Insurance Department has approved a 9.4% proposed rate increase for health insurers for plans available on and off Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange.

Read More

Group Drops Anti-Affirmative Action Lawsuit Against Yale After Compromise

The group responsible for the nationwide overturning of affirmative action has dropped its lawsuit challenging the race-based admissions policies of Yale University.

According to Politico, Students for Fair Admissions (SFA) came to an agreement with the Ivy League school in which they would voluntarily drop their lawsuit, in exchange for Yale making several changes to its admissions policies prior to the Fall 2023 undergraduate application season.

Read More