(05/08/08) HARTFORD ? The Connecticut Legislature approved a mortgage-relief bill Wednesday before the 2008 legislative session came to a close at midnight.

Since Gov. Jodi Rell didn?t amend the budget that was passed last year, lawmakers were able to act on other issues affecting the state. The mortgage-relief bill is designed to help residents caught up in the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Sen. Bob Duff (D-25th District) says the measure was approved in the nick of time.

?We worked really hard with the governor?s office, myself, co-chair and others in a bipartisan way to get this bill done because the state of Connecticut really needs it,? says Duff. Gov. Rell says she?s anxious to get the bill on her desk.

Rell also signed a bill Wednesday that will double and triple penalties for persistent violent offenders. New legislation was also put in place that sets a new curfew and toughens training for teen drivers.

However, not everything moved forward this session. A proposal to ban smoking in the state?s casinos failed to make it to the floor for a vote. The ?bottle bill? calling for a deposit on water, juice and sports drinks also didn?t move forward.

Finally, the so called ?ice missile? bill, which would penalize drivers for not cleaning snow and ice off the roofs of their cars, failed as well.