Political Capitol

Brian Lockhart covers the Connecticut General Assembly in Hartford

Now for the talent portion of our competition…

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It’s interesting to note the two new leaders of the state House of Representatives share musical hobbies. Current House Majority Leader/Incoming Speaker Christopher Donovan, D-Meriden, plays guitar while incoming House Majority Leader Denise Merrill, D-Storrs, is a classical pianist. I asked Donovan during a recent interview what their different choice of instruments says about the […] [Read More]
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Cafero talks, Amann mocks

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For those who have never witnessed a session of the state House of Representatives, the Speaker – currently Rep. James Amann, D-Milford – basically guides the debate. A bill is raised and Amann, standing behind the podium at the front of the hall, recognizes fellow lawmakers who want to speak for/against the legislation, confers with […] [Read More]
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Will Senator Lieberman’s photo ever be re-hung at Dem HQ?

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U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman held a 12:30 p.m. press conference today at his offices in Hartford. The economy topped his agenda, but he also heaped praise on the man he tried to help defeat in the presidential election – fellow Democrat and U.S. Senator from Illinois President Elect Barack Obama. Lieberman noted it was Obama […] [Read More]
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Why not Lt. Gov. Fedele for the job of Business Advocate?

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There was talk earlier today the legislature’s Democrats were eliminating the position of state Business Advocate, created in 2006 by Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell and the General Assembly, to help cut the deficit. Rell tapped former Republican U.S. Congressman Rob Simmons for the job in February, 2007. But ultimately the Democrats decided today instead […] [Read More]
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But will Stamford’s registrars drink beer out of it?

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The Secretary of the State’s office today announced the four winners of her annual “Democracy Cup”. The annual award goes to the small, medium and large-sized towns with the highest voter turnout on election day. Those were New Hartford with 94.78 percent voter turnout; Avon with 95.65 percent turnout, Newtown with 88.97 percent turnout; and […] [Read More]
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DSS: Docs NEVER have to join Charter Oak. EVER …

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… unless they want to. Gov. M. Jodi Rell and the state Department of Social Services announced last Friday healthcare providers were no longer required to join BOTH Rell’s new Charter Oak Health Plan or HUSKY for low-income children. But since then some observers have questioned whether the administration meant physicians do not have to […] [Read More]
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Is Cafero right about Donovan?

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House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, a few days ago told me he was concerned the new House Speaker – Rep. Christopher Donovan, D-Meriden – is too closely allied to the state unions whose cooperation lawmakers need to help address the budget crisis. Donovan, the former House Majority Leader, has made a career out of […] [Read More]
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Monday’s special session will not take care of the state deficit

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The General Assembly convenes for a special session Monday to enact a deficit mitigation plan intended to address the current, 2009 fiscal year’s budget hole. But the proposal, being crafted by Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell and the legislature’s Democrat-majority, only goes so far. According to Jeffrey Beckham, spokesman for Rell’s budget office, the deficit […] [Read More]
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What is the Department of Social Services looking for?

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Late last week DSS sent Freedom of Information requests to a handful of Democratic lawmakers and other state officials seeking their internal correspondence on the controversial Charter Oak Health Plan. It’s a rare move. Typically lawmakers are the ones who, in their oversight capacity, file FOI requests of departments if they feel they are getting […] [Read More]
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What exactly does “smoke-free” mean to hospitals?

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Earlier today the Connecticut Hospital Association and state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal held a press conference in Waterbury announcing a two-year campaign to make all 29 CHA member campuses smoke-free by 2010. Those campuses include Norwalk, Stamford and Greenwich hospitals. I asked Leslie Gianelli, a CHA spokesman, if “smoke-free” also meant the hospitals would not […] [Read More]
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