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Sound Bites: Who’s invited to SOTU address, NYPD officers face possible disciplinary action

President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Win McNamee
/
Getty Images
President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Good afternoon — President Biden will be hosting his State of the Union address at 9 p.m. where members of Congress will bring guests to gain support for legislation, or enjoy the historic night. 

Here’s a who’s who, and a bite-sized look at what else we are hearing:

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will bring as his guest Imran Ansari, a Hofstra University graduate and political director of the Long Island Federation of Labor, to advocate for canceling student debt. Ansari praises Biden for delaying his $20,000 federal student loans that has allowed him to buy a house in Huntington Station with his family.
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) invited Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, as her guest.
  • Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) will bring Alex Plitsas, a veteran and ex-Pentagon official who helped coordinate evacuations from Afghanistan during the U.S. military's withdrawal in 2021. Blumenthal hopes by reaching across the aisle — Plitsas is a former Fairfield GOP vice chairman — he can gain support for the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would provide permanent legal status to American allies who were evacuated.
  • Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) has invited New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker.
  • Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) will bring Joe de la Cruz, former state representative who works at Groton-based metal manufacturer Hillery Co., and co-founded Community Speaks Out, which  helps people with opioid addiction.
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) will bring Allyx Schiavone, executive director of Friends Center for Children, and Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) invited Marc Jaffe, CEO of Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County, to rally funding for early childhood care and education programs.
  • Rep. Jahana Hayes invited Niko, a student journalist at Western Connecticut State University, to embrace the civic engagement of young people.
  • Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY) will bring his wife Kaylie, Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) invited his father, William, and Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) invited his brother, Tim.
  • Even embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY) will bring a guest: Attorney Michael Weinstock, who says he was a volunteer firefighter at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. How do they know each other? They both lost elections to Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) in 2020.
  • Rep. John Larson (D-CT) did not announce who they would bring to the State of the Union address.

Bridgeport may soon host a ferry dock allowing for easy travel to New York City. The Bridgeport Port Authority began construction of this dock in October but the city is still seeking proposals from ferry companies to operate the dock. The goal is to have the dock and a ferry operator ready for fall later this year.

An arrest was made on Monday for shooting an off-duty NYPD officer from Deer Park on Long Island. The officer received a head wound during a robbery on Saturday. He is recovering at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn.

New York State fisheries are planning to limit the number of black sea bass and porgy fish caught while also shortening their fishing seasons and increasing their minimum catch size. The state Department of Environmental Conservation requires fisheries to maintain healthy fish populations, however local fishermen believe these guidelines are outdated and the changes could, ironically, lead to the increase of fish mortality.

The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board recommended that nearly 90 NYPD police officers should be disciplined for their actions against Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd. The board reports receiving over 300 complaints of officers using abusive language, excessive force, and discourteous conduct against the protestors. Of the near 90 officers recommended for disciplinary action, close to half of them have already received departmental penalties.

Connecticut gun advocates filed a lawsuit last Friday to halt the state’s ban of semi-automatic, automatic, or burst-fire assault weapons. This is in response to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reclassifying other firearms as assault weapons last month. The state attorney general vows to defend their inclusion in Connecticut’s assault weapon ban.

The Nassau County Legislature approved a $167 million contract to increase police officer salaries. This is the first pay increase for Nassau police officers since 2017, and will boost nearly 2,000 officers' pay by 15% over over 8 years.

Connecticut has hired five auditors to look into the state’s budding cannabis industry. The state Department of Revenue Services said these auditors will help new cannabis companies properly submit tax collections and avoid tax errors.

A lucky Tolland County resident has won $3.3 million from a “$150,000 A Year for Life” lottery ticket. Adam Lobaugh won this prize after paying for a $10 lottery ticket at a Fas Mart in Ellington, Connecticut.

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.