Sunday, September 26, 2021

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New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

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The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

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A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Improved Transportation on Horizon for CT

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Monday, April 5, 2021   

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Strides to strengthen and modernize public transit are underway in Connecticut.

The General Assembly's Environment Committee passed a bill to boost the clean-energy economy and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector.

Thomas Regan-Lefebvre, coordinator of the Transport Hartford Academy at the Center for Latino Progress, said the bill outlines plans for cleaner vehicles and fuels, and safer infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.

He called it a big win in terms of equity, increasing the minimum investment for underserved communities most affected by air pollution, from 35% to 50%.

"We know it's not going to answer everything, it's not going to cut all the emissions out," Regan-Lefebvre acknowledged. "But it is going to help to reduce inequities, transportation and climate change inequities, within our state."

Senate Bill 884 is also part of the state's commitment to the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative.

And Regan-Lefebvre is convinced there's still time to get Republicans on board. Although the legislation was bipartisan, the GOP lawmakers on the committee voted against it.

Regan-Lefebvre is optimistic about the $621 billion of federal funding for transportation as part of the American Jobs Plan, including $80 billion to improve and expand Amtrak train service.

He noted Connecticut's capital should be an economic and cultural hub, but in his opinion, it isn't quite there yet.

"We really hope that by connecting Hartford in a more efficient way to Boston, and to New York, it is going to attract talents and investment there," Regan-Lefebvre explained.

The bill will likely be reviewed next by the Finance or Transportation Committee.


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