HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials are welcoming President Barack Obama's sweeping proposals for curbing gun violence following the deadly shooting at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, credited the president on Wednesday with taking "the critical first step" in making sure such a tragedy does not happen again. Malloy said the president has offered "common sense measures" that "we should all be able to agree on."

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut legislators are establishing a bipartisan task force to recommend possible legislation to prevent gun violence, provide mental health care and improve school safety.

Senate President Pro-Tem Donald Williams Jr. said Tuesday the group will review current law and could propose a comprehensive bill for a vote by the end of February.

The effort stems from the Dec. 14 shooting rampage at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, which killed 20 first graders and six educators.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut task force recommends that local zoning laws reflect changes in rising sea levels and new flood elevations after two storms devastated the state's shoreline.

The legislative report released Monday recommends that municipalities and the state consider the impact of rising sea levels when deciding whether to build or issuing public health permits for sewage disposal.

The group was formed in February 2012, after Hurricane Irene hit Connecticut as a tropical storm and eight months before more damage was caused by Superstorm Sandy.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has named 16 people, a group that includes mental health and public safety experts, to a panel recommending changes to state laws and policies in the wake of the deadly elementary school shooting in Newtown.

Connecticut's comptroller says the state is on track to end the fiscal year with a budget deficit of $40 million.

The estimate released Wednesday by Comptroller Kevin Lembo reflects cuts that were made last month after officials revealed a $365 million deficit in the current $20 billion state budget.

New adult drivers in Connecticut will soon need a learner's permit before taking the road test for a driver's license.

The three-month permit will be mandatory for drivers 18 and older starting Wednesday.

The new law ends a 106-year practice of not requiring adult drivers in Connecticut to complete a training period before getting a driver's license.

Applicants will receive an adult learner permit after passing a 25-question knowledge test and a vision test. They will also have to take an eight-hour safe driving practices course, which costs $125.

Connecticut’s Public Health Department says reports of wrong-site surgeries in state hospitals increased by 62 percent last year, while the number of patient deaths or disabilities resulting from surgery or falls also rose.

The report that covers 2011 also says reports of patients suffering from serious pressure ulcers — or bed sores — declined 39 percent.

The Adverse Event Report says reports of patients who had surgery performed on the wrong body part increased from eight in 2010 to 13 last year.

Burt Lum

State labor officials say about 43,000 Connecticut residents could lose emergency unemployment benefits at the end of December unless Congress continues the program.

Earlier this week, officials in five states announced they would be participating in a pilot program that would add hundreds of hours in classroom time to the school year. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more…

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is unveiling $170 million in spending reductions across state agencies, the first part of a plan to close Connecticut's current $365 million budget shortfall.

The Democrat released the list Wednesday. It includes nearly $161 million worth of reductions to executive branch agencies that range from a $33,957 cut to the governor's office to a $32.2 million reduction at the Department of Social Services.

Malloy has the statutory authority to rescind up to five percent of any budget line and three percent of any fund without legislative approval.