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Special Newtown mental health fund up for vote

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) House Speaker Brendan Sharkey says the General Assembly will soon vote on creating a new charitable fund to help compensate first responders, teachers and others in Newtown with mental health needs after they've exhausted their existing benefits.

Sharkey said Thursday he expects a vote will be taken on March 6 on the bipartisan plan crafted by legislative leaders.

The account, requested by responders to the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, would be funded with charitable contributions and managed by the state's Judicial Branch.

Meanwhile, the legislature's Labor and Public Employees Committee forwarded a bill requiring Connecticut's worker's compensation system to cover the treatment costs for mental illnesses stemming from certain workplace traumas.

That bill, however, would only apply to future cases and not the Newtown shooting.

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