Cook Political Report Gives GOP Heightened Chance of Gaining Two Connecticut Congressional Seats

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report updated its analysis of congressional races this week to indicate 10 contests have a heightened chance of favoring Republicans, including two races in Connecticut.

Cook previously deemed Connecticut’s Second Congressional District, now held by Democrat Joe Courtney, “Solid D[emocratic]”; the journal now considers the district “Likely D.” And the state’s Fifth Congressional District, represented by Jahana Hayes, was moved from “Likely D” to “Lean D.”

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Dueling Economic Narratives: Connecticut Dems Vaunt Higher Credit Rating; GOP Cites Poll Showing Residents Unhappy with Economy

While Democratic officials met news of Connecticut’s boosted credit rating effusively on Tuesday, Republicans drew attention to new survey results showing on-the-ground feelings about the economy overall aren’t so rosy.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P), a major New York City-based credit-rating agency, assigned the state’s general-obligation bonds a “positive” outlook; before the rating was merely “stable.” S&P attributed its upgrade to the state projecting it will accumulate a $3.31-billion fund balance in the next fiscal year, amounting to 15 percent of appropriations.

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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 Democrats Forced to Remove ‘Racist’ Tweet Portraying Black Republican Congressional Candidate as Monkey ‘Curious George’

Connecticut Democrats have deleted a controversial tweet portraying Republican 5th congressional nominee George Logan, a black man, as children’s book character Curious George the monkey, but are still defending their characterization as “misrepresented.”

Republicans and many Democrats condemned the tweet by the state Democrat Party that compared Logan, who is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes (D), a black woman, to the famous mischievous monkey in children’s books, claiming the theme of the tweet concerned Logan’s residency in the 5th district.

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Increasing Healthcare Costs Put Connecticut Employers in Difficult Position

As the cost for health benefits rises in Connecticut, businesses and nonprofits are evaluating budgets to determine how much they can contribute to benefits for employees.

“Consider how much the cost of health care in America degrades our competitive position – businesses and taxpayers in no other country must bear this huge cost; it puts America at a 7-10% cost disadvantage relative to other countries,” Fred Carstensen, director of Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at the University of Connecticut, told The Center Square. “And at the same time, the average health of Americans (and life expectancy) is poorer than in most other developed countries – making us less productive. The costs we impose on ourselves with this health care system are seemingly endless.”

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Connecticut’s Blumenthal and Murphy Urge Passage of Bill That Some Say Would Shield Islamists from Anti-Terrorism Efforts

Connecticut’s two U.S. senators, both Democrats, are urging passage of a bill that they say will help prevent incidents similar to the recent Buffalo mass shooting, though it actually narrows rather than expands federal anti-terrorism concerns.

At a press conference on Friday, senior Sen. Richard Blumenthal called the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022 a “chance to take a stand and an opportunity to send a message to the hate mongers that enough is enough.”

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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 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 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 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 AG Leads Bipartisan Coalition Alleging in Amicus Briefs Big Pharma Violates Affordable Drug Mandates

Connecticut’s attorney general is leading a nationwide charge against big pharma for violating mandates of a federal drug program and to secure affordable prescription drug prices for low-income Americans.

AG William Tong announced that a pair of amicus briefs have been filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit and District of Columbia. The briefs defend actions taken by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in cases files by Sanofi SA, Novartis Pharmaceutics, United Therapeutics Corp, and NovoNorisk.

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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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Sen. Blumenthal’s Family Splurged on Intel Stock Before He Voted for a Massive Subsidy Bill

Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal disclosed in early March that an investment fund managed by his wife’s family purchased between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of Intel stock. A little over three weeks later, he voted for legislation handing billions in subsidies to semiconductor manufacturers that could benefit Intel.

The senator’s actions seem to indicate a conflict of interest, congressional watchdogs told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Blumenthal’s financial interests appear intertwined with companies he oversees, they said.

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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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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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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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Connecticut Pro-Life Leaders: ‘Good News’ – Debate over Abortion Expansion Bill ‘Exposed Cracks in Abortion Industry’s Political Support’

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) became the first governor Thursday to tout a bill affirming and expanding abortion rights following a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade and return decisions about abortion to the states.

But, leaders of the pro-life community in Connecticut say that, while “abortion will be legal for now” in the state, “the good news is that the debate over HB 5414, the Abortion Expansion Bill, has exposed cracks in the abortion industry’s political support in Connecticut.”

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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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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 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 Governor Lamont Commits to Signing Pro-Abortion Legislation into Law

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont reaffirmed his commitment to signing pro-abortion legislation, once it arrives on his desk.

The measure, House Bill 5414, would help protect “medical providers and patients seeking abortion care in Connecticut who may be traveling from other states that have outlawed abortion.”

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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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Hillsdale College Connecticut Campus Hosts First Major Event: ‘Religious Liberty and the American Founding’

SOMERS, Connecticut – Hillsdale College’s campus in Somers, Connecticut hosted its first major event over the weekend with a seminar titled “Religious Liberty and the American Founding.”

Dr. Matthew Spalding, Hillsdale’s vice president for Washington operations and dean of the college’s Van Andel Graduate School of Government, spoke Friday evening on the topic of civil and religious liberty.

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Latest Report Shows Continued Budget Surplus for Connecticut Leaders

Officials in Connecticut have even more funds to use than originally expected, according to a new Consensus Revenue Forecast from the Office of Policy and Management.

The report projects more than $22 billion in General Fund revenue, a stark increase from estimated funds with the budget passed last year.

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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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Connecticut Senate Republicans Unveil $1.2 Billion Tax Relief Plan

Providing financial relief to state residents is the focus of a tax relief plan introduced in the state Senate, Republican officials said.

The Connecticut Senate and House Republicans announced a $1.2 billion tax relief plan that would cut income taxes, reduce sales taxes, and extend the gas tax holiday.

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Connecticut Pro-Life Black Democrat: Many Democrats ‘Shut Out of Party’ over Views Against Abortion

Connecticut State Rep. Treneé McGee (D-West Haven) was one of 14 State House Democrats – among them ten people of color, including McGee – who voted against a bill that would expand abortion rights further in Connecticut.

A report at CT Insider featured McGee’s “voice of dissent” last week as she rose to speak against the bill, recalling numerous conversations she has had with black girls over the years about abortion.

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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 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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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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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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Hillsdale College Begins Academic Programming at Connecticut ‘Faith and Freedom’ Campus

Hillsdale College’s Blake Center for Faith and Freedom in Somers, Connecticut, has begun its academic programming that includes seminars, lectures, training sessions for K-12 teachers, and community events, according to information sent to The Connecticut Star.

Hillsdale spokeswoman Emily Stack Davis sent information about the start of the Blake Center’s spring offerings, noting that its programs “will focus on Christianity, Western Civilization, and America.”

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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 Unemployment Claims Slightly Rising

Unemployment is slowly recovering in Connecticut, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor.

In its latest Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report, there was an increase in 18,000 initial claims filed throughout the country for the week ending April 9, with a total of 185,000 claims. The four-week moving average for the number of claims filed was set at 172,250, which was adjusted by 2,000 from the previous week’s number.

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Governor Lamont Announces Slew of Judicial Nominations

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont on Wednesday announced a slew of new judicial nominations, including one to fill a future vacancy on the state’s Supreme Court.

In total, Lamont nominated 13 individuals to the judicial branch, ranging from the Supreme Court seat to the Connecticut Superior Court.

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Progressives Ask Connecticut Lawmakers to Expand Medicaid to Illegal Immigrant Minors

Progressives this week are pushing for Connecticut lawmakers to extend HUSKY Health, the state’s Medicaid program, to illegal-immigrant minors at an estimated cost of $1.9 million.

Last year, reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Constitution State enacted a measure to make illegal-alien children under the age of eight eligible for HUSKY, a policy that will take effect at the beginning of next year. But some say those between the ages of nine and 18 should not be left out of the program.

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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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