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Sound Bites: Connecticut looks at changes to cash bail

Bail bonds offices across the street from a courthouse.
Eric Risberg
Bail bonds offices across the street from a courthouse.

Good morning. The Connecticut Judicial Branch is looking to update the state’s Practice Book. A public hearing on Monday at 10 a.m., streaming online, will consider new rules for cash bail to make it easier for those awaiting trial to stay out of jail before their court date.

The rules would allow anyone pretrial release if their bail is set no higher than $50,000, and can pay 7% of the cash bail. Republicans argue the state General Assembly should weigh this rule change, warning changes to cash bail would allow serious offenders back on the streets. Democrats and civil rights groups say cash bail disproportionately hurts people of color. 

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

The Connecticut House of Representatives approved a bill that would prohibit anyone under 18 from marrying in the state. Sponsors say neighboring New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts already have a ban in place in order to cut down on arranged marriages and human trafficking. Republicans called the bill a “feel good measure.” The bill advances to the state Senate.

Norwich Public Utilities will send a crew to Arizona this week to help electrify the Navajo Nation. The “Light Up Navajo” project is a partnership between the Navajo Nation and the American Public Power Association. The Navajo territory is approximately five times larger than Connecticut. Approximately 12,000 of the 55,000 homes on the reservation do not have electricity.

Basketball Hall of Famer Ray Allen received his Bachelor’s degree from UConn on Saturday. Allen spent three years at UConn before being the 5th pick in the 1996 NBA draft. Allen started taking one class a semester in 2008, while he was still playing in the NBA.

Rep. George Santos says he’s “ashamed” of his fabrications about his life and experience. In an interview on WCBS-TV, Santos (R-NY) said he’s “reaping the consequences” of his actions, but will continue to represent the people of his district. Santos is running for reelection, but Nassau County Republicans will not support him.

Thirty air traffic controllers will be allowed to stay on Long Island. The Federal Aviation Administration rescinded an order to move the controllers from its Westbury office to Philadelphia after several Long Island families protested. The Westbury facility, known as TRACON, employs 176 air traffic controllers who handle Newark air traffic from Kennedy, LaGuardia, Republic in East Farmingdale and Long Island MacArthur in Islip, among others.

Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Ronald “Ron” P. Welch is nominated for commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs. Welch has nearly 40 years of military service, and since his retirement in 2017, he has been working for a local nonprofit organization that helps veterans transition away from military service.

The New York State Police will increase patrols on the Southern State Parkway. The 25-mile roadway is one of the deadliest parkways on Long Island. State police announced they will target DWI checkpoints, speed and distracted driving enforcement, and aggressive drivers.

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Terry Sheridan is a Peabody-nominated, award-winning journalist. As Senior Director of News and Education, he developed a unique and award-winning internship program with the Stony Brook University School of Communications and Journalism, where he is also a lecturer and adjunct professor. He also mentors graduate fellows from the Sacred Heart University Graduate School of Communication, Media and the Arts.