71 episodes

Welcome to Steady Habits: A CT Mirror Podcast, hosted by John Dankosky. Our goal is to foster meaningful conversations with newsmakers and the journalists who cover them. We're planning to dig into Connecticut's biggest stories in policy and politics. Let's get started.

Steady Habits: A CT Mirror Podcast The Connecticut Mirror

    • News
    • 4.9 • 37 Ratings

Welcome to Steady Habits: A CT Mirror Podcast, hosted by John Dankosky. Our goal is to foster meaningful conversations with newsmakers and the journalists who cover them. We're planning to dig into Connecticut's biggest stories in policy and politics. Let's get started.

    Would Shrinking The Supreme Court Help Build Consensus?

    Would Shrinking The Supreme Court Help Build Consensus?

    Many of the biggest questions surrounding this year’s Supreme Court term don’t have to do with the cases they decided. They’re more about the people who are deciding them.

    What’s the dynamic on the 6-3 majority conservative court? What role does Chief Justice John Roberts play? And what will happen with liberal justice Stephen Breyer, who turns 83 in August? Many progressive voices are calling on him to step down now so that President Biden can get a replacement through a majority Democratic Senate. 

    Supreme Court reporter and columnist Linda Greenhouse says those calls may have backfired, with Breyer not wanting to make a “political” decision. But Greenhouse, who has covered the Court for decades for the New York Times, says the Court’s days of being above politics are largely over.

    In part two of our conversation, Greenhouse considers whether a smaller, even-numbered future Court might help build more consensus, and gives us some of her ideas about the possibility of changing the size of the Supreme Court.

    She also looks ahead to the next Court term, which is shaping up to be momentous. 

    Linda Greenhouse has a new book coming out this fall, titled: Justice on the Brink: The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Rise of Amy Coney Barrett, and Twelve Months That Transformed the Supreme Court.

     

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    • 30 min
    Outflanked To The Right: Linda Greenhouse Considers The Roberts Court

    Outflanked To The Right: Linda Greenhouse Considers The Roberts Court

    The Supreme Court term is over, and although it didn’t have some of the high-profile cases we’ve come to expect the Court to decide, it did have its own drama, with Amy Coney Barrett joining the court as a last-minute replacement for the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Former President Trump solidified his mark on the Court, and left it with a 6-3 conservative majority. But votes didn’t always follow partisan lines, leading some observers to remark on a surprisingly moderate Court term. Not so fast, says Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Linda Greenhouse.

    The long-time Court reporter and columnist for the New York Times saw the justices expanding their role in religious issues, and further damaging the Voting Rights Act. As she did last year at this time, Greenhouse joined me for a live, special Zoom event, where we took questions from the audience. In part one of our conversation, we talked about that major elections case, and what she made of the new court - she has a new book coming out this fall, titled: Justice on the Brink: The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Rise of Amy Coney Barrett, and Twelve Months That Transformed the Supreme Court. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 28 min
    CT Legislative Wrap Up: Yes To Legal Weed; No To New Taxes, Climate Change Bill

    CT Legislative Wrap Up: Yes To Legal Weed; No To New Taxes, Climate Change Bill

    The Connecticut legislative session has concluded, and it seems that in some ways, this "Land of Steady Habits" has emerged as a changed place.

    Yesterday, Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill legalizing marijuana, a deal that took many years, and almost fell apart at the end. 

    Lawmakers and the Governor also agreed on a budget deal that didn’t raise taxes, but certainly put the issue of tax fairness front and center - shining a light on divides within the Democratic party.

    And, the biggest piece of environmental legislation in years, the Transportation and Climate Initiative, failed, but the state did tackle climate and waste issues in a substantial way.

    Last night, I talked about these issues and more with CT Mirror reporters Mark Pazniokas, Keith Phaneuf and Jan Ellen Spiegel in our 2021 legislative wrap-up event on Zoom. We were joined by many viewers who asked questions about what did and didn’t get done. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 43 min
    Redistricting in CT: How to Draw a Better Map

    Redistricting in CT: How to Draw a Better Map

    The 2020 Census gives Americans a chance to redraw their district lines, fundamentally shifting the map of Democracy. But we often wonder - is our system set up to provide the kind of change necessary? How can Connecticut use this opportunity to create an electoral system that serves its people? And what can we learn from experts outside our state about how to do things better?

    My guest is Michael Li, senior counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program

    His work focuses on redistricting, voting rights, and elections. He was the author of a widely cited blog on redistricting and election law issues that the New York Times called “indispensable.” 

    This conversation was recorded earlier this Spring as part of a virtual conversation, before Connecticut's passage of a bill outlawing prison gerrymandering.

    This podcast is presented in partnership with the League of Women Voters, Connecticut and Everyday Democracy.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 21 min
    Finding Mental Health Solutions For CT Kids

    Finding Mental Health Solutions For CT Kids

    This last year, spent in a pandemic, has changed the lives of so many. But those changes might be felt most acutely by children. Their routines of family life, social life, and learning, were upended. We’ve heard about a “lost school year,” for kids, but what about just a “lost year?”

    The problems weren’t just felt by those children with the most acute mental health disorders, but we know that for those children who are most at risk, supports weren’t always in place  - before Covid.

    So, what are the solutions? This past Tuesday night, The Connecticut Mirror, the Gannett Newspapers of New England and the Solutions Journalism Network collaborated on an event called  “Coping With Covid: Mental Health Solutions For Kids”

    We talked about the challenges - and the solutions for this big problem. And we started with a story from the Mirror’s Adria Watson. She spent weeks following the story of families struggling to find mental health services for their children, and in some cases winding up waiting in the emergency room for days on end, unable to get appropriate care.

    We also had experts to answer questions from our audience. 

    Randi Silverman is the executive director of the Youth Mental Health Project, a Connecticut-based charity that has branches in five states. The project’s goal is “to change the conversation and raise awareness that kids can struggle with mental health” through its Parent Support Network. 

    Michelle Doucette Cunningham is executive director of Connecticut After School Network, an organization that is devoted to developing the “whole child.” The Network is also home to the Social Emotional Learning Alliance For Connecticut.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 26 min
    What You Need To Know About A CT Nursing Home Strike

    What You Need To Know About A CT Nursing Home Strike

    Nursing home workers and Connecticut are still at an impasse over a new contract. The state’s largest health care union has said it will strike as soon as Friday at 26 homes, with other strikes possible in the following weeks.

    Workers are asking for a pay raise, to $20 an hour, a hike of as much as 33%. The union said that could cost the state more than $200 million per year. 

    And nursing home operators say they need more than $300 million just to cover losses and cost increases from the pandemic. 

    The Lamont administration has made what it calls its “last and best offer” to the union. The Governor’s proposal includes $280 million additional funding over two years:
    $150 million over the next two fiscal years that would primarily fund 4.5% raises for all nursing home workers in Connecticut — not just those threatening to strike.
    $20 million for a one-time enhancement to workers’ retirement benefits.
    $12.5 million to fund hazardous pay bonuses;
    $13.5 million for enhanced training and staff development;
    And a temporary, 10% increase in facilities’ Medicaid rates worth $86 million between this July and March 2022. These funds would go largely to mitigate lost revenues and added expenses homes have faced.

    The Lamont administration pointed out that their package is about four times the increase that nursing homes normally get. 

    But Keith Phaneuf, who covers the state budget for The Connecticut Mirror, said those numbers are deceiving. “Over the last 14 years, nursing homes have probably gotten a 1% increase on average,” he said. “So it's not that hard to beat that, fourfold.”

    Phaneuf said workers have cited difficult and dangerous working conditions, and not enough staffing during the pandemic, which hit state nursing homes hard. 

    He said some Democratic lawmakers are pushing the administration to acknowledge that the mostly Black and Latino workers have been hailed as “heroes” over the last year.

    “Senator Gary Winfield, the Democrat from New Haven really kind of summed it up well, he said, you know, you can give folks all these accolades, but there's no equity without revenue,” Phaneuf said.  

    “Meaning unless the state puts its dollars behind these types of statements like Black Lives Matter and nursing home workers are heroes. They're empty statements,” he said.

    4,000 employees could go out on strike over the next few weeks. You can read more from the Connecticut Mirror at ctmirror.org.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

Journo3 ,

Great Listen Every Time!

Complex issues dissected beautifully!
The CT Budget discussions with Keith Phaneuf
are so informative and told with great depth and real world impact.
Thanks Jon and Keith for your great work.

Mike.

LoveRealBooks ,

Thank you CT Mirror

Grateful to CT Mirror for bringing back John Dankosky for intelligent fact-based conversation with CT newsmakers and the journalists who cover them.

Hockey9966 ,

Phew!

It was a real loss for meaningful CT news and conversation when John retired from his shows on WNPR - The Wheelhouse and NEXT being my favorite hours of WNPR programming. Journalist moderators, like John, or Tom Ashbrook, or Brian Lehrer at WNYC, add so much to our public commons, so when they retire or take a vacation, it’s noticeable. So it is just great to see this podcast surface, and without even listening yet, I am confident it will restore something vital to CT. Thank you John and thank you CT Mirror.

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