Connecticut Farmers Seek More Aid

If approved on the federal level, more Connecticut farmers could gain assistance for the harsh realities dealt them by the ongoing drought.

A natural disaster request was submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Gov. Ned Lamont said, for Litchfield and New Haven counties where drought conditions have caused damage to farms.

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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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Connecticut GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Bob Stefanowski Announces ‘Parental Bill of Rights’

Connecticut Republican candidate for governor Bob Stefanowski announced a “Parental Bill of Rights” that seeks to empower the state’s parents to make education and healthcare decisions for their children.

“During the last several years, the pendulum has swung too far against the rights of parents and their ability to make critical decisions for their children in terms of education, healthcare, and the teaching of moral values they hold dear,” Stefanowski said Tuesday. “As Governor, I am going to reverse that trend and restore parental rights in a significant and meaningful way.”

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Connecticut Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bob Stefanowski Vows to Target Hundreds of Licensing and Regulatory Fees Small Businesses Forced to Pay

Republican candidate for Connecticut governor Bob Stefanowski pledged last week to cease collection of the hundreds of licensing and regulatory fees small businesses and entrepreneurs are forced to pay prior to their repeal by the next legislature.

“Now I know everybody’s gonna jump up and down, you can’t do that, OK,” Stefanowski said Tuesday, according to CT Mirror. “I’m going to tell [the tax commissioner] to do it.”

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Pandemic Triggers 89 Percent Increase in U.S. Food Stamp Spending

Spending on food stamps has increased by $53.5 billion – an 89% increase – in the two pandemic years. By comparison, that’s how much the entire program cost in 2009 during the Great Recession.

Spending on the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program grew 88.5% from $60.3 billion in 2019 to $113.8 billion in 2021. Spending on the SNAP program had previously peaked at $79.8 billion in 2013 before declining for the next six years.

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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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New Connecticut Law Targets Vehicle Theft

A new Connecticut law will target the state’s motor vehicle theft issue, providing updated structure and procedure for law enforcement officials.

Public Act 22-115, which was approved on a bipartisan basis by the Connecticut General Assembly, takes aim at juveniles with a record at repeated theft attempts.

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Connecticut Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate Leora Levy: Blumenthal Has ‘Rubber-Stamped’ Biden’s Failed Policies Making Americans of Every Party Suffer

“It’s time to retire Dick Blumenthal,” Leora Levy states on the home page of her campaign website, but the Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Connecticut says she is ready not only to take on the career Democrat politician, but also the “timid” members of her own party “who will abandon or betray us when it comes down to the important votes.”

“Drawing a strong contrast with Dick Blumenthal is the only way to win this Senate seat,” Levy says as she campaigns toward the Connecticut primary on August 9.

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal Urges Biden Administration to Declare ‘Public Health Emergency’ After Supreme Court’s Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) was at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Waterbury, Connecticut, Tuesday to urge Biden Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to declare a “public health emergency” in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that returns issues about abortion to the states.

“We’re pressing President Biden to use whatever authority he has, to the maximum extent to explore the possibility of a national emergency that would enable telemedicine prescription, which could then result in medication abortion through the mail,” Blumenthal said, according to the Stamford Advocate.

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Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont Pitches State’s ‘Family-Friendly’ Pro-Abortion Stance to Businesses While Costs Soar Due to Diesel Tax Increase

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s (D) recent video pitch encourages businesses to relocate to his “family friendly” state where women are welcome to end the lives of their unborn babies, but neglects to mention his now effective 23 percent tax increase in diesel fuel is crushing businesses and consumers already reeling from unprecedented inflation and high gas prices.

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Connecticut Secretary of the State Announces Resignation to Care for Ailing Husband

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill (D) announced she will resign Thursday in order to spend time with her husband who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.

Merrill, 73, told the Associated Press (AP) trying to juggle her job with caring for her husband has grown too difficult.

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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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New Home Buying Program Is Now Open in Connecticut

A new Connecticut program that aids residents with down payment assistance for home purchases is now open, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced the Time to Own program offering down payment assistance to low- and moderate-income homebuyers is now accepting applications. The program is funded with $20 million the State Bond Commissioner allocated in December 2021 to help families purchase homes.

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Lamont: Taxpayers Will Help Aspiring Teachers Earn Certifications

Connecticut is spending taxpayers dollars to help defray testing costs for teachers, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced that $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding will be used to help aspiring teachers defray the costs of certification-related testing in the state over the course of the next two years.

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Connecticut Secretary of State Issues Guidance Broadening Absentee Voting Eligibility, Citing New Law

Denise Merrill

Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill (D) on Friday issued an opinion regarding a new statute that expands absentee voting, emphasizing that voters need not themselves be sick or away all day to vote by mail.

Merrill said she issued the interpretation to “more closely conform” the law, which Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed on April 8, to Article Sixth, Section 7 of the Connecticut Constitution which states, “In all elections of officers of the state, or members of the General Assembly, the votes of the electors shall be by ballot.”

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Connecticut to Hire Full-Time ‘Misinformation’ Expert to Flag Social Media Posts Containing ‘False’ Statements About Elections

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill (D) plan to channel the Biden administration by hiring a full-time “misinformation” expert who will seek to flag social media posts that suggest “bad information” about the state’s elections ahead of the midterms.

“We need to know what’s out there before it goes viral,” said Scott Bates, deputy secretary of the state, according to the New Haven Register. “We need to get ahead of the curve and knock down bad information to protect people from misinformation that would get in their way of voting.”

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Lamont Signs Sikorsky Agreement, Keeping the Company, Jobs in Connecticut

An agreement with a government contractor to make helicopters and create jobs in Connecticut is now law, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor signed Public Act 22-4 early Monday to seal a deal with Lockheed Martin, the parent company of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. Under the agreement, the helicopter manufacturer will operate in Connecticut through 2042 and will support an estimated 30,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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Connecticut Child Tax Credit Application Period Opens in June

Families in Connecticut can begin applying for the Child Tax Rebate in June, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced Thursday afternoon that families who are eligible can earn up to $250 per child through the 2022 Connecticut Child Tax Rebate. The application period opens June 1. Earlier this month, the tax break was signed into law. The rebate is contained in the fiscal year 2023 budget adjustment bill, which includes more than $600 million in tax cuts.

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Connecticut Black Pro-Life Democrat Who Stood Up to Party on Abortion Expansion Bill Faces Primary Challenge

A black, pro-life Democrat lawmaker who received national attention for standing up to her party in the Connecticut state House as she voted against its abortion expansion bill, now is facing a primary challenge for her seat by a young white liberal man.

Connecticut State Rep. Treneé McGee (D-West Haven) received praise from the national Susan B. Anthony List in April for her stirring words as she spoke about the harms abortion has brought to her black community.

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Connecticut Democrats Drum Up Fear Young Teen Girls May Require Parental Notification for Abortion to Stave Off Bob Stefanowski Win

Connecticut Democrats are attempting to incite fear among their constituents that young teen girls are in danger of having to notify their parents if they seek an abortion if Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski wins against Governor Ned Lamont (D) in November.

Though Connecticut codified abortion rights into state law in 1990 and, earlier this month, expanded them by protecting the state’s abortionists and holding out Connecticut as an abortion haven for women from other states, Democrat State Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (D) framed Stefanowski and other state Republicans during a press conference Tuesday as threats to abortion rights over the Republican’s support for parental notification for young teen girls seeking an abortion.

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Connecticut Families Can Soon Get Child Tax Credit

Gov. Ned Lamont (D) and other Connecticut public officials announced on Thursday that families will soon get access to the state’s new child tax credit.

About 300,000 postcards went into the mail yesterday advising families of how to apply for the relief which comes at $250 per child and up to $750 per family. Qualifying recipients include single tax filers with children and with income under $100,000 annually as well as couples with children filing jointly who make under $200,000 yearly in total. Those with incomes above those levels may, however, succeed in securing some relief.

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Connecticut Republican Senators Find Governor’s Oversight of West Haven’s COVID Spending Inadequate

Gov. Ned Lamont (D) this week approved the Municipal Accountability Review Board’s (MARB) request to heighten state oversight of the city of West Haven which is alleged to have misspent COVID-19 relief money, but Republican lawmakers are arguing that the move falls short.

The state now deems West Haven a Tier IV municipality, subjecting it to the most rigorous financial scrutiny for which state law provides. This comes as a result of an audit MARB issued last month which detailed numerous fiscal-management problems the city has incurred. Earlier in April, a separate review by the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management found that the city misused nearly four-fifths of over $1 million in funds it received as part of COVID response efforts.

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Connecticut Governor Signs Climate Change Legislation

Climate mitigation and expanding renewable energy programs are tucked inside two key pieces of climate change legislation that have now been signed, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The governor announced early Tuesday afternoon that Senate Bill 10 and Senate Bill 176 which bring together the state’s commitment to decarbonizing the electric grid and widening renewable energy programs in an attempt to halt climate change.

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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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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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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 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 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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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 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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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 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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Lawmakers Call for Challenge to ARPA Rules Limiting Connecticut Tax Reduction

Ned Lamont

Connecticut Republican legislators said on Saturday they want the state to challenge a part of the American Rescue Plan Act which limits states’ ability to cut taxes.

GOP senators and representatives are calling for tax reduction beyond the targeted relief backed by Gov. Ned Lamont (D). A major roadblock to greater decreases will be the COVID-relief bill President Joe Biden signed into law last year. The act included $195.3 billion in recovery funds for states and barred states accepting allocations from using them to “directly or indirectly offset a reduction in net tax revenue… or delay the imposition of any tax or tax increase.”

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Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Keller Retiring

Connecticut Supreme Court Associate Justice Christine E. Keller announced this week her intention to retire and accept “senior status” with the court.

Her retirement takes effect on April 1, 2022. Gov. Ned Lamont (D), who appointed the justice two years ago, thanked the justice for her service on Thursday and announced he will nominate her successor during this session of the General Assembly.

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Bill Would Give Legislators Access to Connecticut Residents’ Tax Returns

Kate Farrar, Michael Winkler rand Josh Elliot

Connecticut leftists are promoting legislation that would let lawmakers request and receive copies of any residents’ tax return.

Advocates for the bill are basing their case on “fairness and equality,” insisting that access to individuals’ financial information will help them improve tax policy from a progressive standpoint, i.e. claim more revenue from higher-income earners.

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