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President Joe Biden calls on the nation to 'lower the temperature' on politics; Utah governor calls for unity following Trump assassination attempt; Civil rights groups sound the alarm on Project 2025; New England braces for 'above-normal' hurricane season.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

CT insurance committee fails to advance legislation

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Tuesday, April 2, 2024   

Connecticut's Insurance and Real Estate Committee failed to advance any bills by its legislative deadline. Almost 40 bills were brought before the committee this session, but last-minute disagreements cost them a chance to vote on any of them.

Some of this legislation could have provided relief for residents, since insurance rates increased this year.

Tom Swan, executive director of Connecticut Citizen Action Group, called the situation unprecedented and said it speaks to a certain level of dysfunction among committee members.

"There were any number of bills before the committee this year, ranging from health-care affordability to mental health parity, that could have really improved people's lives. And I would argue that, because of the stubbornness of one co-chair, nothing happened," he contended.

With elections being held for both chambers this year, the committee will look quite different when it reconvenes next year. Swan feels this will serve as a learning experience for state lawmakers, and that next year, there could be a better understanding of what both caucus' priorities are, and move forward with a better knowledge of what bills will be raised.

Some bills before the committee would have been key to implementing reforms in certain insurance sectors. One would have approved a study to see how well companies abide by the state's Mental Health Parity Law. Despite vast support, this bill will wait until next year to be revisited.

Swan said if the same House co-chair returns to the committee in 2025, certain provisions need to be made.

"When the chairs meet, it probably would make sense for a representative of leadership's offices to be in the room, to make sure that what is agreed to actually happens when it comes up," he explained.

Some health-care increases were brought on by the pandemic, with Medicare and Medicaid's percentage of growth in cost expenditures barely growing 5% in 2021. But in the same year, commercial insurance's growth skyrocketed to almost 20%, with Connecticut spending $34 billion on health care and insurance costs.


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"I truly love our Country, and love you all, and look forward to speaking to our Great Nation this week from Wisconsin," wrote Former President Donald Trump on social media. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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