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Connecticut's best journalists come out of the political trenches every Wednesday to join us on WNPR's weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse.

Connecticut's best journalists come out of the political trenches every Wednesday to join us on WNPR's weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse.
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United States

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Connecticut's best journalists come out of the political trenches every Wednesday to join us on WNPR's weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse.

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English

Contact:

8602757481


Episodes

The Wheelhouse: Employees On Strike And Still Talking Tolls

4/17/2019
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Stop & Shop employees continue to strike in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, prompting some customers to fill their grocery carts elsewhere. An anti-toll rally draws an underwhelming crowd in Hartford, despite receiving promotion from several influential radio hosts (and we're not talking about Colin McEnroe here). And while state lawmakers debate religious exemptions for vaccines, a third measles case is confirmed in Connecticut. This hour, we talk through some of the week’s...

Duration:00:49:29

The Wheelhouse: Legal Weed And The Pursuit Of Racial Justice

4/10/2019
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The state's desperation for new revenue is certainly fueling this year's push to legalize marijuana. But for many Democrats in the legislature, a larger goal is addressing racial injustices created by a crackdown on illegal drugs that has inordinately targeted non-whites. A bill surviving a key vote this week ties legalization to the expungement of criminal records for those convicted of minor cannabis possesion. Now the debate shifts to whether taxes raised by legal sales should be...

Duration:00:49:59

Adjusting To Life On A 'Debt Diet,' And The Politics Of Personal Space

4/3/2019
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There are those who hope Joe Biden, as he weighs a 2020 presidential run, hasn't lost his touch for personal connections. There are others who wish he would. A Connecticut resident is among the two women who came forward this week with complaints that the former Democratic vice president violated their personal space when greeting them at campaign events. Amy Lappos, a former staffer for U.S. Rep Jim Himes, says Biden pulled her toward him to rub noses. As it was happening, Lappos thought...

Duration:00:49:58

Blumenthal Among Those Targeted In Trump Campaign Counterattack

3/27/2019
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"Treasonous" is a word President Donald Trump is now using to describe claims that he or those in his orbit conspired with Russian officials during the 2016 election. His re-election campaign is urging television news outlets to have second thoughts about booking some of the president's harshest critics, including Connecticut U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. It's all part of the counterattack by Trump and his allies now that special counsel Robert Mueller, as reported by Attorney General...

Duration:00:49:59

Gun Violence Debate Back In The Spotlight

3/20/2019
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As New Zealand reacts to the deadliest mass shooting in its history, the debate over guns is resurfacing here in Connecticut on many fronts. The Connecticut Supreme Court has dealt a blow to the company that manufactures the semi-automatic rifle used in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Victims' families allowed to proceed with their lawsuit finally may be able to force Remington Arms into turning over information over how it markets such weapons. Members of Connecticut's...

Duration:00:49:59

State Economic Indicators Remain A Mixed Bag

3/13/2019
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Connecticut's unemployment rate is at a 17-year low. The state has stockpiled $1.2 billion in its budget reserve fund. But it's still not in a position to go on anything resembling a spending spree. Not with state Comptroller Kevin Lembo warning lawmakers against counting on a repeat of last year's spike in tax collections. Job gains in 2018 also were not nearly as robust as initially reported. And no one can rule out the possibility of an economic downturn lurking around the...

Duration:00:49:59

Connecticut Divided Over Highway Toll, Bear Hunting, And School Regionalization Bills

3/6/2019
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Hundreds are expected to turn out to the state Capitol Wednesday for a public hearing on Gov. Ned Lamont's bill to install electronic tolls on Connecticut highways. But even those who favor tolls may not support another bill to create a transportation authority. Some think it would make state legislators less accountable when it comes to setting toll rates and deciding where toll gantries will be located. Today, we examine what that proposal could mean for the state, and consider...

Duration:00:49:59

Lawmakers Chide Governor's Tax Proposals, Grill DECD Commissioner Pick

2/27/2019
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Governor Ned Lamont has said he is open to negotiating almost everything in his budget proposal. Well, it seems like lots of people are going to take him up on his offer. State legislators on opposite sides of the political spectrum are panning Lamont's plan to raise more than $500 million by expanding the goods and services subject to the state's sales tax. Union leaders feel slighted by his call for them to back changes to cost-of-living increases for future retired state workers. And...

Duration:00:49:30

Critics Line Up Against Gov. Lamont's Budget Plan Ahead Of Its Formal Release

2/20/2019
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The honeymoon period is over for Gov. Ned Lamont. When he delivers his state budget address to lawmakers later on Wednesday, there will already be plenty of animosity among those watching. Support the show.

Duration:00:49:27

Budget Austerity, Hardball Politics, And The Police Chief In New Haven Says Adios

2/13/2019
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New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell's recently announced plans to leave the department has brought the city's budget woes into focus, as well as its contentious brand of politics. The police department is down to 395 officers, Campbell told city alders earlier this week. That's 100 less than called for in the department's 2019 fiscal year budget, he maintained. Support the show.

Duration:00:49:25

President Trump Seeks More Bipartisanship; Governor Lamont Seeks A Balanced Budget

2/6/2019
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President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night was full of contrasting tones. Like when he endorsed national paid family leave for new parents, and then just seconds later, called for legislation banning late-term abortions. Today, we break down his speech, and how well it went over or didn't go over with Congressional Democrats. Support the show.

Duration:00:41:21

School Regionalization, Grocery Tax, And Mayoral Upsets Coming In 2019?

1/30/2019
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Elections aren't for another nine or so months, but mayoral races are heating up across Connecticut. That includes those in the state's three largest cities where the top municipal leaders are Democrats, and challengers from within the party keep emerging. Support the show.

Duration:00:49:28

Sports Programs Drain Finances At UConn; Federally Funded Services Brace For Impact

1/23/2019
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As the shutdown of nine federal departments drags into its second month, it's not only about federal government workers going without paychecks. There has been an increase in warnings that various programs may also take a hit due to the stalemate between President Donald Trump and Democrats over border wall funding. Support the show.

Duration:00:49:29

Minimum Wages, Early Voting, And Federal Employees Forced To Work Without Pay

1/16/2019
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The new wave of progressive Democrats, both in the Connecticut General Assembly and in Washington, D.C., isn't waiting for the 2020 election to bring about big changes. In Connecticut, there is emboldened optimism for increasing the state's minimum wage, like Massachusetts just did and allowing early voting, like New York, which is on the verge of enacting. Support the show.

Duration:00:49:29

Lamont To Lawmakers: "Let's Do This Together"

1/9/2019
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On his first day of the job, Gov. Ned Lamont made a lot of requests. He requested state lawmakers to not play the "blame game" and instead confront the challenge of fixing state finances head on. Support the show.

Duration:00:49:27

Lamont Promises An Inauguration Day Tone That's Both Realistic And Optimistic

1/9/2019
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Ned Lamont has been waiting for this day for a particularly long time. Our next governor may slip in a few new details about his specific policy goals after he takes the oath of office on Wednesday. But Inauguration Day will mostly be a time for Lamont to set the tone of his forthcoming administration. Support the show.

Duration:00:49:29

Lamont Looking To Bring All Sides To The Table, But What Will He Do From There?

1/2/2019
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It's the New Year and, for Ned Lamont, that means there is only one week left to prepare for the day he takes over the reins of state government. Lamont has signaled a willingness to be a consensus-builder, someone who brings together opposing viewpoints to reach effective solutions. But does he have the backbone to stand firm during the budget process when groups that propelled him into office present him with wish-lists the state can't readily afford? Support the show.

Duration:00:49:29

Connecticut: An Expanding Saga Of The Haves And Have Nots

12/19/2018
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The troubling gap between the rich and the poor in Connecticut is formidable and only getting more profound. Studies have shown that failing to address income inequality hampers overall economic growth. So it's in everyone's interest that something is done about it. But with the state carrying the weight of massive debt payments, can we afford more programs designed to lift up those at the bottom? Can we afford not to spend more? Support the show.

Duration:00:49:30

Measuring Governor Malloy's Eight Years In Office

12/12/2018
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To absolutely no one's surprise, outgoing Governor Dannel Malloy is not letting anyone define his legacy without adding his two cents. While speaking to the media Tuesday after the final Bond Commission meeting of his administration, Malloy struck back at those criticizing job growth in Connecticut and the level of state borrowing during his eight years in office. Support the show.

Duration:00:41:29

Lamont's Administration Begins To Take Shape

12/5/2018
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Governor-elect Ned Lamont on Tuesday announced two team captains who will be tasked with helping him confront huge state budget deficits and Connecticut's tarnished business climate. For his chief of staff, Lamont picked Ryan Drajewicz, an executive from Westport-based hedge fund behemoth Bridgewater Associates. His budget chief will be Melissa McCaw, currently the head of the city of Hartford's Office of Management, Budget and Grants. Support the show.

Duration:00:49:29