Connecticut Governor Signs into Law Four Bills Protecting Access to Abortion, Contraception, and Transgender Medical Treatments

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) signed into law a series of bills Wednesday that seeks to protect abortion rights and access to both contraception and college students’ transgender drugs and surgeries.

In an official statement, Lamont also noted the new Connecticut laws counter those in Republican-led states that have sought to protect unborn life from abortion, and teens from life-altering transgender drugs and surgeries.

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Tax Cut on Beer to Support Connecticut Craft Brewers

Connecticut’s craft beer makers are getting a break on their excise tax bill as part of a broader measure aimed at fostering the brewing industry.

The state’s excise tax on beer dropped by 16.7% beginning on July 1, which lowered the tax on a 31-gallon barrel of beer to $6, from $7.20 previously, and the excise tax on wine from $0.24 to $0.20 per gallon.

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Connecticut Gov. Lamont Signs Healthcare Costs Containment Bill

Gov. Ned Lamont has signed a bill to reel in Connecticut’s rising healthcare costs through stronger regulation of hospitals and drug prices.

The legislation, signed on Tuesday, calls for banning the use of anti-competitive healthcare contracting practices, improving transparency in pricing for medical treatments, limits on hospital “facility fees” and multi-state bulk purchasing program to lower prescription drug costs, among other changes.

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Connecticut Makes Cocktails To-Go Policy Permanent

Connecticut diners will be able to get drinks to go permanently, with the state becoming the latest to make the COVID-19 pandemic-related policy law.

A measure signed into law by Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday codifies emergency regulations several years ago during the COVID-19 pandemic allowing restaurants to sell beer, wine and cocktails with takeout and delivery orders.

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Connecticut Gov. Lamont Signs Budget with Historic Income Tax Cut

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is touting a $51 billion, two-year state budget that includes the “largest” income tax cut in state history.

The spending plan, which he signed on Monday after winning approval from the Democratic-controlled General Assembly, increases state spending by about 7.5% over the next two fiscal years but keeps the expenditures under the state’s cap on spending. 

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Connecticut Gov. Lamont Signs Bill Authorizing Early Voting

Connecticut has become the latest state to authorize early voting in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic under a bill signed into law by Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday. 

The measure, which cleared the state Legislature last week, authorizes a 14-day early voting period for general elections, a seven-day period for primaries, and a four-day early voting period for special elections and presidential primaries. 

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Connecticut Lawmakers Approve $7.5 Billion Borrowing Plan

Connecticut’s General Assembly passed a $7.5 billion two-year bond package on Wednesday, sending the package to Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk on the final day of the legislative session. 

The plan, approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature on a bipartisan vote, includes borrowing authorization for up to $5 billion for transportation, housing, capital projects and public schools over the next two fiscal years. 

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Connecticut Gov. Lamont Signs Gun Control Legislation

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has signed a sweeping gun control law that bans open carry of firearms and further tightens the state’s existing restrictions on military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.

The Democratic-led measure, signed by Lamont on Tuesday, limits handgun purchases to three per month, raises the minimum age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21 and regulates the sale of body armor to civilians, among other provisions.

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Connecticut Moves to Ban Child Marriages

Connecticut could become the latest state to outlaw child marriage, a practice that child welfare advocates say usually involves coercing vulnerable youths into unwanted unions.

A proposal unanimously approved by the state Senate on Friday would set a minimum age for marriage at 18, with no exceptions, and require clerks or magistrates to get proof of age from people seeking marriage licenses. The bill was approved on a 98-45 bipartisan vote last month in the House of Representatives. Gov. Ned Lamont is expected to sign it. 

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Connecticut Lawmakers Approve Early Voting

Connecticut voters would get up to two weeks early voting ahead of federal and state elections under a proposal headed for Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk for consideration.

The legislation, which passed the Democratic-controlled state Senate Tuesday on a 27-7 vote, authorizes a 14-day early voting period for general elections, a seven-day period for primaries, and a four-day early voting period for special elections and presidential primaries. Lamont has pledged to sign the bill, which the House previously approved.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Advance Gun Control Measure

Connecticut lawmakers are advancing a wide-ranging package of gun control measures billed as the most significant changes since the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre.

The Democratic-led proposal, approved by the state House of Representatives Thursday on a largely party-line vote of 96-51, calls for prohibiting the open carry of firearms and further tightening the state’s existing restrictions on military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. 

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Connecticut Supreme Court Pick Withdraws Nomination

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s pick to fill a vacancy on the state’s highest court has withdrawn her nomination amid questions about her support for women’s reproductive rights.

On Friday, Attorney Sandra Slack Glover withdrew as Lamont’s nominee for the state Supreme Court several days after the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee declined to vote on her nomination.

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Connecticut Leaders Push Pension Reform Plan

Connecticut cities and towns could save tens of millions of dollars a year in pension costs under a new proposal unveiled this week by state leaders.

The plan, rolled out Wednesday, emerged from a deal between Gov. Ned Lamont and State Comptroller Sean Scanlon to overhaul the Connecticut Municipal Employees Retirement System, a state-run pension system for municipal employees, including police officers, firefighters, and public works employees.

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Connecticut House Republicans Unveil Alternative Budget, Tax Relief Plan

Connecticut House Republicans have unveiled a two-year, $50.7 billion budget proposal that includes more than $1.1 billion in tax relief and repeal of a new highway tax on commercial truckers. 

The plan, rolled out by the Assembly’s GOP minority caucus on Tuesday, includes a buffet of income tax cuts, tax relief of businesses and expanded tax exemptions for pension and annuity earnings, and restoration of a sales tax exemption on children’s clothing costing less than $100, among other changes.

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Connecticut Colleges Could Face Layoffs, Cuts Under Lamont’s Budget

Connecticut’s public university system is facing the prospect of layoffs and deep cuts under the state budget proposal for the next fiscal year, which could also prompt tuition and fee hikes for students.

According to Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Terrence Cheng, who announced on Monday the public college system would be forced to eliminate more than 3,600 full and part-time jobs — including 654 layoffs — under the two-year, $51 billion spending plan being considered by state lawmakers. 

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Connecticut Lawmakers Hike Spending over Gov. Lamont’s Budget Plan

Connecticut Democrats are moving ahead with a $51 billion two-year budget that includes more money for education, health care, and other priorities.

The spending plan, approved Wednesday by the Legislature’s Democratic-led Appropriations Committee, calls for boosting spending in the next fiscal year by an estimated $400 million over Gov. Ned Lamont’s preliminary budget, filed in February.

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Lt. Governor: RuPaul’s Connecticut Drag Queens Make Her ‘Proud to Be From Connecticut’

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (D) said she was “proud to be from Connecticut” as she appeared with four Democrat state lawmakers on Friday night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race where four drag queens with ties to the Constitution State were present.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Advancing Lamont’s Gun Control Bills

Connecticut lawmakers are advancing Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposal to close “loopholes” in the state’s gun control laws in response to a spate of mass shootings nationwide.

The legislation, which is teed up for a vote in the state Legislature, would tighten the state’s ban on “ghost” guns, increase the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21, prohibit open carry in public, ban the bulk purchase of handguns and expand the state’s restriction on large-capacity firearm magazines, among other changes.

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Connecticut Seeks to Reduce Solid Waste Costs

Connecticut trucks hundreds of thousands of tons of solid waste to landfills in other states, which costs the state and taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

Gov. Ned Lamont has pitched a plan to reduce the amount of waste going to other states by increasing recycling and requiring manufacturers to reduce packaging materials, but the effort has faced pushback from the solid waste industry and some lawmakers. 

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Lamont’s Health Care Cost-Cutting Plans Face Pushback

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s plan to control health care costs in the state is facing blowback over claims it would cost hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. 

Lamont’s proposal, which is being considered by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health, calls for reducing costs that often get tacked on to consumers’ medical bills, such as facility fees that charge patients for the use of medical and hospital offices during treatments, which he says would save the state’s consumers $400 million a year.

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Connecticut Lawmakers Approve Gas Tax Holiday Extension

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

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

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

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

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Governor Pledges Fiscal Responsibility in Connecticut Democrats’ Trifecta

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

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

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Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Rates Drop for Ninth Year in a Row

A decrease in workers’ compensation rates is continuing in Connecticut for a ninth straight year.

Beginning Jan. 1, workers’ compensation rates will fall by 3%, Gov. Ned Lamont said, as the Connecticut Insurance Department approved the filing for pure premium loss costs. However, those companies who have an assigned risk will not see a reduction.

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Connecticut GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Bob Stefanowski Vows to Reject COVID Shot Mandate for School Children

Connecticut GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski said Thursday in a press statement that if he is elected Connecticut governor that the state would never mandate the COVID vaccine for “schoolchildren, public or private employees, or anyone else.”

“It’s time that we start allowing actual science — not political science — to inform how we approach public health decisions,” Stefanowski added. “I challenge Governor Lamont to make this same pledge to the people of our state.”

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Connecticut Gubernatorial Race Is a Re-Match of 2018

Four years ago, Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Bob Stefanowski faced off in Connecticut’s gubernatorial race.

The same scenario is playing out this fall with incumbent Lamont, seeking a second term in office, facing off against Stefanowski, the opponent he defeated four years ago. Also throwing his hat into the ring this fall is independent gubernatorial candidate Robert Hotaling.

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Poll Shows Connecticut Races for Governor and U.S. Senate Tightening

A new poll commissioned by CT Examiner found the races for Connecticut governor and for the U.S. Senate are tightening as the election approaches.

The poll, published Saturday, found Governor Ned Lamont (D) leading Bob Stefanowski (R) 46-40 percent, with 5 percent favoring Independent Party candidate Rob Hotaling, and 10 percent undecided.

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More Connecticut Farmers Added for Disaster Loan Assistance

Farmers in eight Connecticut counties are now eligible for federal disaster assistance due to ongoing drought conditions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Gov. Ned Lamont’s request to widen a natural disaster declaration for portions of the state affected by drought over the summer.

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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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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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