Funds in Connecticut Will Assist Sexual Assault Probes

Helping Connecticut process sexual assault evidence kits in a more timely manner is the focus of new federal funding.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced it will award $1.2 million to Connecticut that will be used at the state’s Forensic Laboratory for adding personnel, supplies, and equipment to aid ongoing efforts in sexual assault investigations, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

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Connecticut Pension Funds to Benefit from $2.8 Billion Transfer

A historical payment is headed to Connecticut’s pension plan.

State Comptroller Natalie Braswell is in the process of transferring $3.1 billion from the state’s operating surplus into the rainy day fund, triggering a one-time, special payment of $2.8 billion into the state’s unfunded pension liabilities, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

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Connecticut Program Up for National Award

A Connecticut family-based program has been nominated for a national award.

Care 4 Kids Parent Portal has been named for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers as a finalist in the 2022 State IT Recognition Awards, Gov. Ned Lamont said. The program, run through the office of Early Childhood, was created in 2021 to give low- to -moderate-income families a subsidy to pay for child care.

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Lawsuit Alleges Students Were Bullied in Connecticut School District for Their Political Beliefs

by Reagan Reese   Parents of a Connecticut school district are suing over a school policy which has led to their students being bullied because of their political beliefs. The lawsuit filed Wednesday to the U.S. District Court against Board of Education at Guilford Public Schools in Guilford, Connecticut, alleges that a…

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Connecticut Task Force Begins Examining Early Childhood Workforce Concerns

Licensure requirements, professional development opportunities and employment compensation are among some of the weighty issues a new Connecticut task force will delve into in the coming months.

The state’s Early Childhood Workforce Development Task Force held its first monthly meeting recently and began laying the groundwork for its deep-dive conversations in the coming months.

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Connecticut’s Broadband Program Gains Federal Approval

A Connecticut plan to use federal funding to expand broadband access in the state has gained federal approval.

The Connecticut Broadband Infrastructure Program, Gov. Ned Lamont said, will use $42.9 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to expand service to underserved areas in the state and was approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Broadband will be expanded, or improved, in 10,000 households and businesses.

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Report Reveals Force Used in One Percent of Arrest Incidents in Connecticut

A new report shows that Connecticut’s law enforcement agencies use force 1% of the time.

The Institute of Municipal and Regional Policy used police use of force from across the state in its report. Kenneth Barone, associate director of the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy, told The Center Square that the report was a challenge as it is the first of its kind and only the second state-wide analysis of use of force in the nation.

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PACT Program Extended in Connecticut

A program that provides taxpayer funding for qualifying Connecticut students to attend community college has been extended.

PACT provides funding to students to cover the difference between state and federal grants, community college tuition and mandatory fees, and, for the first time, allows part-time students taking six or more credits to qualify for the program.

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Study: Connecticut’s Disabled Residents Struggle to Make Ends Meet

A recent report reveals that many Connecticut residents living with disabilities are unable to afford basic necessities.

The United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut released a study that shows 48% of disabled residents in the state are living in ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) or poverty-level conditions and struggle to afford basic housing, child care, health care, and transportation.

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Connecticut Program Seeks to Land Workers in High-Demand Jobs

Connecticut is implementing a new training program that is designed to give workers the skills necessary to fill jobs in high-priority occupations.

CareerConneCT, a $70 million program, backed by American Rescue Plan Act funds, will operate 19 various job training programs, Gov. Ned Lamont said. The training programs are aimed at giving workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic short-term training to get them the credentials needed to work in various sectors of the workforce in higher quality jobs that are in demand.

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Commentary: The Real Job Crisis in Connecticut

The real crisis in the U.S. labor market is not, as we keep hearing, that there are not enough people who can work. The real crisis is all of the working-age people on the sidelines, not even looking for a job. Yes, the unemployment rate is low, but that statistic covers only people who have looked for a job in the last four weeks. The labor force participation rate, which measures the share of working-age people working or at least looking for work, shows a long-term decline, especially for men without a college degree. This is especially true in states like Connecticut. When able-bodied men are not even looking for work, a host of social problems ensue — from crime, to drug addiction, to family breakdown. 

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Levy Tops Connecticut GOP Field, Challenges Blumenthal in November

The picture for Connecticut’s November general election cleared with Tuesday’s primary.

The Election Day turnout of 20.37% cast ballots to determine who qualifies for the November election for one U.S. Senate seat, five U.S. House seats, and the state’s secretary of state and treasurer.

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Connecticut Invests in Infrastructure at Rocky Hill Facility

Veterans coming to Connecticut’s Rocky Hill campus will be seeing changes.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday the state will be performing $5.1 million in infrastructure upgrades to the Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Hartford. The funding was approved at last week’s State Bond Commission meeting.

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Connecticut Will Use Federal Funds to Get People Back to Work

Connecticut is focusing on a workforce investment designed to place state residents from underserved communities into high-demand jobs.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday the state was awarded $23.9 million through the American Rescue Plan’s Good Jobs Challenge through the U.S. Department of Commerce. The funds will be invested into the Office of Workforce Strategy programs designed to place more than 2,000 residents into the workforce.

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Connecticut Making Investment in Sewer Pollution Prevention Projects

Preventing sewage pollution is the focus of a new investment in Connecticut.

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, who will be challenged by Republican Bob Stefanowski in November’s general election, says the state is pledging $580 million to shovel-ready municipal water pollution control projects around the state. The investment is designed to cut down on sewage pollution in the state’s waters.

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Bond Commission Set to Approve $34 Million Funding for Connecticut’s State Parks

Patrons of the great outdoors in Connecticut could be seeing a myriad of improvements at state parks and other facilities.

The State Bond Commission on Friday is expected to approve $34 million in state funding on that will be used to improve and increase access for residents utilizing the aging state parks system.

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Connecticut Governor Signs Auto Theft Prevention Bill

Car thieves in Connecticut will be seeing a swifter response from law enforcement.

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, up for reelection in the Aug. 9 primary, signed Public Act 22-115 into law this week. The measure updates criminal justice statutes in the state, while providing law enforcement and the courts to act quickly while more effectively responding to youth that are charged with repeated car theft violations.

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Connecticut Attorney General Reaches $1.8 Million Settlement with Eversource

A settlement has been reached with one public utility company, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said.

The state’s top law enforcement official announced a $1.8 million settlement has been reached with Eversource over the company’s alleged false and deceptive high-pressure tactics that were used to try to and encourage people to convert to natural gas.

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Connecticut Online Casino Gaming Up and Running

Live online casino gaming is up and running in Connecticut.

Gov. Ned Lamont said Evolution Gaming Studio is now operating in the state. The company is offering live dealer games on FanDuel and DraftKings iCasino on a limited basis for blackjack and roulette through a soft launch that transitions to full gaming at 11 a.m. Monday.

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Connecticut Minimum Wage Not a Guarantee to End Poverty

Employees in Connecticut are now earning a minimum wage of $14, and one industry expert says the wage isn’t enough to support a family.

Connecticut increased its minimum wage on July 1 for the fourth time since 2019. Fred Carstensen, director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at the University of Connecticut, said many of the jobs available are lower-wage jobs that don’t offer benefits such as health care.

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Connecticut’s AG Tong Among 20 State Attorneys General Supporting New National Gun Control Rule

A coalition of 20 state attorneys general, all Democrats, are backing a federal gun rule in court.

The Final Rule, as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives named it, would enable law enforcement officials to trace any homemade guns used in crimes. In addition, the rule limits trafficking the weaponry.

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Economist: ‘When It Comes to Connecticut, Businesses Are Being Incentivized to Look Elsewhere’

LEGO Group’s decision to spend $1 billion to build a new factory near Richmond, Virginia, has led economy and industry experts to raise questions about the status of the Denmark company’s Connecticut headquarters.

The global toymaker announced at a press conference with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) its plans to build a new factory in Chesterfield, a move that would expand its production in the United States and create about 1,760 new jobs.

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Connecticut Governor Signs Consumer Data Privacy Act into Law

Greater safeguards to personal data are the focus of legislation that has now become law in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced Public Act 22-15 has been signed. The legislation creates a comprehensive set of protections designed to help consumers by creating a stronger ability to safeguard personal data that is collected with online businesses.

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Lamont: Manufacturing Company Expanding in Connecticut

An advanced coatings manufacturer is undertaking an expansion project in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced Element 119, which currently employs 14 people, plans to add an additional 36 workers over the next two years at its production facilities in Thomaston and Cheshire.

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Connecticut Request for Planning Regions to Be Used in Census Approved

Connecticut’s nine planning regions will now be used by the U.S. Census rather than traditional counties when the next decennial county rolls around, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced the state has received approval of a request sent to the U.S. Census Bureau that will allow each planning region, represented by a Council of Government, to be used for tabulating and disseminating census data. The planning regions will be used as a county equivalent.

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Connecticut Child Tax Credit Program Accepting Applications

Connecticut’s child tax credit program is now taking applications, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced the application period for the 2022 Connecticut Child Tax Rebate will accept applications through July 31. The rebate was developed within the budget bill Lamont signed last month and provides a rebate of up to $250 per child up to three children.

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Connecticut to Hire ‘Misinformation’ Specialist to Police the Internet

Connecticut is hiring a “misinformation” specialist to police the internet ahead of the midterm elections, according to the state’s budget statement.

The position of a misinformation “security analyst” was proposed by Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill to combat alleged election misinformation that has “undermined public confidence in the fairness and capability of election results,” according to the budget statement.

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Cannabis Home Delivery Slated to Begin in Connecticut

Home delivery to Connecticut cannabis consumers is one step closer to reality as the lottery for delivery licenses closed last week.

“Delivery service is one of the license types now available in Connecticut as part of the new adult-use program,” Kaitlyn Krasselt, communications director at the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, told The Center Square. “Home delivery will also be available to patients in the medical marijuana program.”

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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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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’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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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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Connecticut Bills Call for New Mental Health Treatment Techniques

Using psychedelics to treat mental health disorders is the focus of a bill that passed out of the Public Health Committee, Senate Democrats said.

House Bill 5396, which addresses access to mental and behavioral health services and medications, moved out of committee on Monday. The bills are sponsored by state Sen. Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor, who serves a vice chairman of the committee.

House Bill 5275 also moved out of the committee; it addresses step therapy and prescription drugs for mental and behavioral health issues.

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CT-5 Democrat Incumbent Jahana Hayes Intimates Black GOP Opponent Only Running Because of Race

Democrat Incumbent U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes recently intimated to supporters in a Zoom call that her Black GOP opponent was only in the campaign because of his race.

Hayes also recently told supporters that if she loses her race in November, then Democrats all around the country are in trouble. Sources tell The Connecticut Star that Hayes is feeling the pressure in Connecticut’s highly competitive Fifth Congressional district contest.

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Connecticut School Superintendent on Leave After Allegations of Misconduct Suddenly Resigns Claiming Threats, Racism

Miiddletown High School

The superintendent of Middletown Public Schools in Connecticut, who has been on paid leave due to an investigation into allegations of misconduct by top district officials, has resigned suddenly, claiming he received threats and a racist letter.

Middletown Police are investigating the letter, that now former Superintendent Michael Conner has alleged was mailed to him and contains death threats and racist language.

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Lead Poisoning Mitigation Legislation Proposed by Connecticut Governor

Getting the lead out is the focus of legislation proposed by Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday.

The governor announced the filing of a legislative proposal that would utilize $70 million for Home Remediation Projects throughout Connecticut, alleviating the lead poisoning risks in children and put the state in line with federal guidance. Dollars from the American Rescue Plant Act would be utilized to fund the program.

“For too long, Connecticut has failed to address the problem of lead poisoning in our children, a problem that impacts most deeply minority families and disadvantaged communities of our state,” Lamont said in the release.

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Connecticut Supreme Court Picked Redistricting Maps That Maintain Partisan Makeup Status Quo of 5th Congressional District

The Connecticut Supreme Court picked redistricting maps that maintain the partisan status quo of the 5th Congressional District.

Prior to redistricting, CT-5 was given a partisan rating by Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight of D+3. The Connecticut Supreme Court approved the state’s new congressional maps on February 10, 2022 and the 5th district’s partisan rating remains the same. The court took control of the process after a bipartisan body of state legislators failed to come to an agreement on the lines.

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School Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation Systems Assistance in Connecticut Bill

Connecticut public schools would be able to pay for upgrades to heating, cooling, and ventilation systems in legislation proposed by Gov. Ned Lamont.

The first-term Democrat announced the proposed legislation that would create and fund a grant program that would need $90 million to get the project off the ground to help schools make the upgrades in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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