connecticut

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.

Advocates of Connecticut's new medical marijuana law say a new business alliance of medical marijuana entrepreneurs could help educate patients, doctors and the public about the drug and combat the stigma of pot.

About a dozen people, including some state Capitol lobbyists, turned out on Tuesday for an organizational meeting of the proposed Connecticut Medical Cannabis Business Alliance.

Courtesy NOAA

The Connecticut Department of Labor is set to receive more than $1.8 million in federal funding to hire dislocated workers to help with cleanup and recovery efforts stemming from Superstorm Sandy.

The state's congressional delegation announced Friday the National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor will help create about 120 temporary jobs.

Initially, more than $610,000 will be released.

The largest association of Connecticut cities and towns is calling on a state task force to recommend increased funding for public education, despite a continuing drop in state revenues.

James Finley, executive director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, said Tuesday the Education Cost Sharing grant, the largest pool of state aid for local education, is underfunded by more than $763 million. That means local property taxpayers cover the difference.

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