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Sound Bites: Legislative session to end this week

Jessica Hill

Good morning. State lawmakers are scheduled to head home by the end of the week. Connecticut’s next $51 billion state budget needs final approval before the legislative session ends on Wednesday, June 7; New York’s final bills must be passed by the end of Thursday.

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

A business plane headed for Long Island scrambled military fighter jets when it was unresponsive flying over the nation's capital Sunday and later crashed in Virginia. The fighter jets caused a loud sonic boom that was heard across the region. The Cessna Citation took off from Elizabethtown, Tennessee, and was on-route to Long Island MacArthur Airport. No survivors were found.

Connecticut residents can use deadly force to kill a bear if they reasonably believe it’s inflicting or about to inflict great bodily harm to a person, a pet or is entering an occupied building. But state lawmakers have stopped far short of a bear hunt.

Nurses at St. Charles Hospital voted to authorize a potential strike. The New York State Nurses Association said most of the 287 nurses at the Port Jefferson Hospital were in favor of the union delivering a 10-day notice of a strike on Friday. The nurses have been working without a contract since March 31. They want improved patient-to-nurse ratios and salary increases.

The Connecticut Lottery will launch a new website and app this fall, two years after online betting began in the state. An 8-year contract with International Gaming Technologies will allow players to purchase Connecticut and multi-state games, including virtual Keno, Cash5, Play3 and more. Digital lottery tickets on the platform are expected to be available in late fall of this year.

Smith & Wesson will close its Connecticut factory. The first round of 129 layoffs at the Deep River facility, as well as the Massachusetts headquarters, will begin this August. The gunmaker announced in 2021 that it would relocate to Tennessee. The majority will remain through September 2024.

Repair work is scheduled to begin Tuesday on the Fire Island Lighthouse, which has been closed since March following a severe storm. Workers will remove and replace the damaged concrete shroud that covered the brick tower. There is no estimate when it will be reopened to the public.

OSHA is investigating Friday’s partial building collapse at a construction site in New Haven. Workers had just poured over 4 million pounds of concrete at the Lafayette Street building when the second floor slab collapsed into the first floor and the basement. Eight workers were trapped for about 45 minutes. The New Haven Police Department is also investigating.

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Terry Sheridan is an award-winning audio journalist. As part of his duties 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.