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Sound Bites: Judge orders Santos to reveal identities of bond cosigners

Rep. George Santos departs the U.S. Capitol after a vote on May 11, 2023.
Win McNamee
Getty Images
Rep. George Santos departs the U.S. Capitol.

Good morning. A federal judge has ordered U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) to reveal the identities of the people who paid for his $500,000 bail bond.

In May, Santos was charged with 13 federal charges, including wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives. If convicted, Santos faces up to 20 years in prison and the forfeiting of his political assets. 

His attorney Joseph Murray warned that the revelation of these identities could make people lose their jobs and put them in mental and physical danger. Santos denies any wrongdoing, calling his indictment a “witch hunt”. 

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

A high-profile Connecticut attorney threatened to sue Governor Ned Lamont once he signs new restrictions on guns into law. Norm Pattis, who has represented conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and the alleged Proud Boys insurrectionists, wants to challenge the bill that would prohibit the open carrying of guns in public and expand bans on assault weapons. Lamont went ahead and signed the measures into law Tuesday.

Over 8,000 red flags have been filed in New York since the Buffalo supermarket shooting last May. Extreme Risk Protection Orders, known as the red flag law, prevents people from purchasing a gun for a year if they pose a threat to themselves or others. Nearly 3,000 of the orders were filed in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Connecticut did not use $30 million reserved for home heating assistance this past winter season. That’s despite requests for heating assistance increased by 24% this winter. The Lamont administration blamed unusually warm temperatures, low heating prices and supplemental federal funding that helped residents. Instead, the money will be used for other programs in the state budget.

Amtrak has applied for over $7 billion in federal grants to upgrade service on its Northeast Corridor. This would fund 14 proposed projects to improve stations and expand Amtrak services. These projects include the Connecticut River Bridge replacement project, the East River Tunnel rehabilitation project and the New Haven to Providence capacity planning study, to name a few.

Advocates are concerned about the passage of Connecticut’s Vision Zero legislation. Scot Esdaile, president of the Connecticut NAACP, fears this legislation may lead to racial profiling. The bill would allow municipalities, particularly schools, to install speed and red light cameras that would take pictures of car license plates and bill the owners if it’s seen breaking the law. Esdaile warns the bill will be used to generate more state revenue while hurting low-income communities.

Nurses have reached a contract deal with St. Charles Hospital on Long Island. The nurses union threatened to strike at the Port Jefferson Hospital over staffing, salary increases and workplace conditions. According to the New York State Nurses Association, the nurses will receive improved nurse-to-patient ratios, an average wage increase of 20.5% over three years, and improved education and health benefits.

Connecticut did not create record new housing last year, according to an analysis by Hearst Connecticut Media. Governor Lamont has repeatedly claimed that more housing was created in 2022 than any other year in the 21st century but the Hearst investigation found that to be false. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, less housing permits were issued in 2022 than in 10 of the last 22 years. There was also less housing built in Connecticut last year than any other state, except for Alaska and Rhode Island.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.