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Sound Bites: Connecticut, New York join alliance for reproductive freedom

The clinic doctor at Houston Women's Reproductive Services  discusses ultrasound results with a patient in Texas, Oct. 1, 2021.
Evelyn Hockstein/REUTERS
A clinic doctor at a Women's Reproductive Services facility.

Good afternoon — Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and New York Governor Kathy Hochul joined 18 other Democratic governors in forming the multi-state Reproductive Freedom Alliance. 

The alliance waslaunched with the goal of supporting women’s reproductive freedom following last year’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and the rise of abortion bans throughout the country. 

Lamont praised, “Connecticut has a long history of protecting reproductive rights and the freedom to choose one’s own medical care.” Hochul added, “Every American deserves to have their fundamental rights respected.”

The California Wellness Foundation and the Rosenberg Foundation are funding the alliance. 

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

Brookfield Republican First Selectman Tara Carr has clarified the intent of tweets she posted that many believed threatened President Biden. On Tuesday, Carr said in aradio interview here she explained her tweet was “common vernacular” from her years of military service, when she called for suspected Chinese weather balloons to be shot down. She said the Democratic backlash was just an attempt to smear her.

Yale’s Center for British Art will be temporarily closed for renovations. Attendees have one more week to visit the New Haven-based galleries before it closes on Feb 27. The center will have its near 50-year-old exterior renovated, roof and skylights replaced, and upgrade its gallery lighting system. It’s expected to reopen by early 2024.

Long Island University will develop a new museum exhibit, “Hail to the Chief! Electing the American President” at its Roosevelt School. With a $100,000 grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, LIU will partner with the historical organization, Museum of Democracy, to display items from past presidential elections. The exhibit is expected to open this spring.

UConn President Radenka Maric will be paid close to $635,000 annually.  It’s a 20% salary increase from UConn’s former president, Thomas Katsouleas. However, Maric will not receive additional funding once her run as president is over, which has been a controversial action that many former presidents have benefitted from. Maric was selected in September 2022 and is the second female president to serve the university.

Embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY) has hired a new campaign treasurer, according to a Federal Election Commission form filed on Tuesday. The form named Andrew Olson, of Queens, as the new treasurer. Santos had been without a treasurer since late January and was unable to raise or spend campaign money without someone in the position. Santos is under investigation for potential campaign finance fraud, which he denies.

Connecticut lawmakers plan to establish an Office of the Cannabis Ombudsman to address medical marijuana shortages. According to the bill, the Ombudsman would work directly with the state Department of Economic and Community Development to oversee state cannabis programs and to ensure residents receive safe and quality products.

Applications for downtown revitalization grants are available to local organizations in Suffolk County. County Executive Steve Bellone announced on Wednesday that a pool of $500,000 is available to renovate public facilities, including restrooms, sidewalks, street lights and more. The deadline for applications is March 17.

Long Island MacArthur Airport has begun construction on its $26 million plan to improve airport facilities. Improvements include a new roof for the main terminal, three new baggage carousels, and a new air purification system. Construction is expected to be complete by spring 2024. MacArthur Airport was recently listed as a federal Superfund site in need of remediated contamination.

The city of New Haven has received federal $400,000 to improve roads and intersections. The fund will go directly to the city’s Safe Routes For All plan with the goal of supporting walkable communities, bike lanes, and improved public transportation.

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.