THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE

NEW CASINO

East Windsor casinoMGM Resorts International has asked to intervene in a lawsuit filed by the state and two federally-recognized Native American tribes against the U.S. Department of the Interior.  Connecticut has asked a federal judge to approve amendments to a revenue-sharing agreement that would allow a new casino in East Windsor, in direct competition with an MGM casino being built in Massachusetts.  MGM filed its request Tuesday, arguing its business interests will be directly impacted by the ruling and differ from the Department of Interior’s obligation to represent the public in dealing with Native American tribes.

NEW LAWS

UbervsLyft-1280x554New rules for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are set to take effect in Connecticut with the new year.  Starting Monday, such companies must register annually with the Department of Transportation and pay the state annual fees. The same new law also gives the DOT commissioner the ability to suspend, revoke or refuse to renew a company’s registration for various reasons.  Ride-hailing services must also obtain background checks for their drivers, including federal and state criminal history checks.  Other new laws set conditions for selling event tickets and bar the Department of Correction from placing any inmate under age 18 on a restrictive housing status, also known as “administrative segregation.”

NEW SESSION

The U.S. Senate has a full plate as it prepares to convene on January 3rd. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal says one of his primary goals is to approve federal disaster relief for areas that were pummeled by hurricanes this year.  Blumenthal says he also wants to focus on passing the DREAM Act, which would offer undocumented immigrants a clear path to obtain citizenship. He says another priority is to adequately fund the children’s health insurance program.

DOGS SEIZED

rispca logoAnimal welfare authorities have seized 24 dogs from a home in Exeter, where they say many of the animals were being kept outside in frigid temperatures just before Christmas.  The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said they had seized the dogs last week after receiving a complaint.  The group said it went to the home with State Police and Exeter Animal Control, and found several dogs living in unsanitary conditions and lacking adequate shelter. At the time of the visit, it was 28 degrees, with the wind chill making it feel much colder.

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