Dialogue: 137 State Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven)

November 19th Dialogue Show

State Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven).

State Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven).

This week on Dialogue, reporter Steve Kotchko interviews the top Democrat in the State Senate, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney.  Looney discusses the new state budget approved by lawmakers and signed by the governor.  He also talks about long-term state revenue problems, and how they might be resolved for the better.  Looney also discusses the political climate for the 2018 state elections.

Dialogue: 136 State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby)

November 12th Dialogue Show

 

State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby), State House Republican leader

State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby), State House Republican leader

This week on Dialogue 2017, reporter Steve Kotchko talks with State House Republican leader Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby).  Klarides discusses the long process that finally led to a new state budget being approved in a bipartisan legislative vote, and signed into law by Gov. Malloy on Halloween.  Klarides talks about structural changes in the budget she believes will be beneficial for Connecticut.  Klarides also discusses the possibility she may run for governor next year.

Dialogue: 135 Jim Wadleigh

November 5th Dialogue Show

Jim Wadleigh, CEO of Access Health CT

Jim Wadleigh, CEO of Access Health CT

This week on Dialogue, reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Jim Wadleigh, CEO of Access Health CT.  Wadleigh discusses all the issues facing his program that runs “Obamacare” in Connecticut.  This includes Trump administration efforts to undercut the program by cutting federal subsidies and funding to pay for outreach on individual health care plans.  He also addresses what Access Health CT is doing to insure enrollment for 2018 despite a shorter sign-up period and fewer insurance carriers.

Dialogue: 134 Mick Bolduc

October 29th Dialogue Show

 

Mick Bolduc, epidemiologist at the State Department of Public Health.

Mick Bolduc, epidemiologist at the State Department of Public Health.

This week on Dialogue reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Mick Bolduc, epidemiologist at the State Health Department about the importance of getting a flu shot this fall.  He discusses the seriousness of flu as an illness and how each year’s vaccine is developed and distributed to protect public health.  Bolduc also comments on this week’s news that federal health officials will recommend a new vaccine for protection against the shingles virus.

Dialogue: 133 Bill Seymour

October 22nd Dialogue Show

Bill Seymour, chief of staff at the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Bill Seymour, chief of staff at the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

This week on Dialogue reporter Steve Kotchko interviews DMV chief of staff Bill Seymour.  In the show, Seymour discusses the DMV’s ongoing work to promote teen driving safety, including the start of the annual high school video competition to create teen driving safety messages.  Seymour also offers data to show Connecticut’s nationally-recognized teen driving restrictions have saved lives.  The DMV official discusses teen input into state decisions on driving rules for young people.

Dialogue: 132 Alan Bruce

October 15th Dialogue Show

 

Alan Bruce, professor of sociology at Quinnipiac University.

Alan Bruce, professor of sociology at Quinnipiac University.

This week on Dialogue 2017 reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Alan Bruce, professor of sociology at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.  Bruce explains why he and 150 other professors, scholars, and law enforcement officials signed a letter urging the news media to change the way they cover mass killings such as the Las Vegas incident.  Bruce discusses how extensive media coverage could impact or encourage other troubled individuals to act on their impulses.

Dialogue: 131 Ron Pinciaro

October 8th Dialogue Show

 

Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence.

Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence.

This week on Dialogue reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting incident.  Pinciaro discusses the prospects for gun control legislation in Congress to respond to the wave of mass shootings, and he also warns of possible Congressional consideration of bills to loosen gun regulations.  Pinciaro discusses why the National Rifle Association continues to have great influence in Washington, despite national polls showing Americans favor passage of universal background checks on all gun sales in the U.S.

Dialogue: 130 Phillip Cunningham

October 1st Dialogue Show

Phillip Cunningham, assistant prof. of media studies at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

Phillip Cunningham, assistant prof. of media studies at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

This week on Dialogue 2017 Steve Kotchko talks with Phillip Cunningham, assistant professor of media studies at Quinnipiac University, about the “take a knee” controversy in the NFL.  Cunningham says sports and politics have collided many time in America.  He offers historical perspective and looks into the racial elements that fuel the current controversy that has preoccupied news and sports media.

Dialogue: 129 Steven Reviczky

September 24th Dialogue Show

State Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky.

State Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky.

This week on Dialogue, Steve Kotchko talks with State Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky, recently elected as president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the first Connecticut commissioner chosen for the post in the group’s 100-year history.  Reviczky discusses national issues facing the agriculture industry, and offers an update on how Connecticut agricultural interests are faring in 2017.

Dialogue: 128 Mary Sotos

September 17th Dialogue Show

Mary Sotos, Deputy Commissioner for Energy at the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

Mary Sotos, Deputy Commissioner for Energy at the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

This week on Dialogue reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Mary Sotos, Deputy Commissioner for Energy at the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  Sotos explains why Connecticut is updating its comprehensive energy strategy and why this detailed plan is important.  She discusses related energy issues including natural gas supplies, wind power, solar power, and how the state and federal governments may differ on energy policy.

Dialogue: 127 Donna Swanson

September 10th Dialogue Show

Donna Swanson.jpg

This week on Dialogue reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Donna Swanson, executive director of the FOCUS Center for Autism in Canton.  Swanson explains autism as an illness, and the so-called autism “spectrum” that covers various ways autism presents itself in children.  Swanson offers parents advice on how to get a diagnosis for a child potentially affected by autism and what treatments and strategies are available after a positive diagnosis.  She also discusses the challenges of educating children with autism.

Dialogue: 126 Lori Pelletier

September 3rd Dialogue Show

Lori Pelletier, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO.

Lori Pelletier, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO.

This week on Dialogue 2017 reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Lori Pelletier, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO on this Labor Day weekend.  In the program, Pelletier discusses the current state of organized labor, the effects of the prolonged state budget battle, how labor relates to the Trump administration, and challenges facing unions in the future.

Dialogue: 125 Joe Brennan

August 27th Dialogue Show

Joe Brennan, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA).

Joe Brennan, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA).

This week on Dialogue Steve Kotchko talks with Joe Brennan, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) about an op-ed piece he penned suggesting five says to spur Connecticut’s economy.  Brennan explains his plan includes avoiding major tax hikes, reducing the cost of state services, job training and other strategies to help Connecticut improve its economic well-being in the coming years. 

Dialogue: 124 Kevin Sullivan

August 20th Dialogue Show

State Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan.

State Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan.

This week on Dialogue reporter Steve Kotchko talks with State Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan.  Sullivan offers details on Connecticut’s annual “sales tax free week” on most clothing and footwear, running from Aug. 20 through Aug. 26.  He also discusses how the state and the world of retail are coping with the challenge from online sales.  Sullivan also describes cyber scams and cyber security tied to Connecticut’s revenue system.

Dialogue: 123 Kelly Isenor

August 13th Dialogue Show

Kelly Isenor, spokesperson for the American Red Cross in Connecticut.

Kelly Isenor, spokesperson for the American Red Cross in Connecticut.

This week on Dialogue reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Kelly Isenor, spokesperson for the American Red Cross in ConnecticutIsenor discusses the ongoing seasonal nationwide shortage of blood donations and the critical need for new donations now.  She describes the entire blood donation process in detail, and explains what happens to the blood taken in and how it is protected.  Isenor also offers options on how to find a blood drive near you.

Dialogue: 122 U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

August 6th Dialogue Show

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

This week on Dialogue Steve Kotchko talks with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal about issues on the front burner in Washington.  Blumenthal discusses in detail the recent historic vote on health care, and what may happen next on this vital and politically-sensitive topic.  He also offers insights on the controversial enforcement of immigration laws by the Trump administration, and discusses the ongoing investigation of Russian influence on last year’s elections and alleged Russian connections to the Trump administration.

Dialogue: 121 Michael Lawlor

July 30th Dialogue Show

Michael Lawlor, criminal justice advisor to Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Michael Lawlor, criminal justice advisor to Gov. Dannel Malloy.

This week on Dialogue Steve Kotchko talks with Michael Lawlor, criminal justice advisor to Gov. Dannel Malloy about various topics.  They include a detailed discussion of the controversy in the headlines about federal efforts to deport undocumented Connecticut residents even though they have no criminal records.  Lawlor also explains Connecticut’s new bail reform law designed to insure that people arrested for minor offenses are not kept in jail simply because they are poor and cannot afford bail.  Lawlor offers updates on the crime rate in Connecticut, and the declining state prison population. 

Dialogue: 120 Bill Hyatt

July 23rd Dialogue Show

Bill Hyatt, Chief of the Natural Resources Bureau at the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

Bill Hyatt, Chief of the Natural Resources Bureau at the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

This week on Dialogue Steve Kotchko talks with Bill Hyatt, natural resources bureau chief at the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection about the increasingly complex interaction between people and wild animals in our cities and towns.  Bears, coyotes, and bobcats have joined deer as creatures showing up in suburb yards and rural neighborhoods scaring many residents.  Hyatt discusses the reasons for this growing contact with wildlife, and how people should respond. 

Dialogue: 119 Dr. Philip Armstrong

July 16th Dialogue Show

Dr. Philip Armstrong, Director of Connecticut's Mosquito Surveillance Program

Dr. Philip Armstrong, Director of Connecticut's Mosquito Surveillance Program

Another mosquito season has arrived and with it the threat of mosquito-borne diseases.  State mosquito expert Dr. Philip Armstrong discusses the state mosquito monitoring program that just days ago detected potentially deadly West Nile Virus in mosquitoes in West Haven.  The Zika threat will also be watched this summer in Connecticut

Dialogue: 118 Howard Schwartz

July 9th Dialogue Show

Howard Schwartz, communications director for the Connecticut Better Business Bureau

Howard Schwartz, communications director for the Connecticut Better Business Bureau

This week on Dialogue, Mark Sims talks with Howard Schwartz who is the communications director for the Connecticut Better Business Bureau.  In the program he offers advice for Connecticut consumers to prevent being taken in by scam artists during the busy summer season.