Legislature Working towards Budget with Key Deadline in Sight

Sales Tax Hike in Play

Malloy Set to Take Over

Links to Live By

Retail News and Notes

  • As you know, the CT General Assembly adjourned its regular session without the adoption of a State Budget. The only REAL job they have.
  • So, they call themselves into Special Session to deal only with budget items.
  • Yesterday, the House Democrats, who still hold the majority in their chamber held a caucus with members to try and come up with a plan that will get them enough votes to pass.
  • Yet after the caucus, their leaders, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) and House Majority Leader Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) admitted they don’t have a “product” for members to vote on and that they are still kicking around ideas.
  • Our friend at the CT Post Ken Dixon has the story here.
  • At their press gaggle afterward the Leaders did float the idea of an increase in the sales tax – more about that later – but other than that, they said they would meet again next Thursday 29th, one day before the end of the fiscal year.
  • Meanwhile, both the Senate Democrats and the Senate Republicans also held caucuses yesterday, but neither met with the press afterward.
  • House Republicans are scheduled to hold there caucus on Monday.

Sales Tax Hike in Play

  • The Speaker and the Majority Leader floated the idea that one way to close the huge budget gap the state is facing is to raise the sales tax.  They are proposing increasing the rate to 6.99%.
  • CRMA remains strongly opposed to the idea of increasing the State sales tax. We believe it is the WRONG idea at the WRONG time.
  • We urge members to reach out to their local legislators to tell them how an increase in the sales to will hurt your business, brick and mortar retailers that have to compete against online retailers who don’t have to charge a CT sales tax, every day.
  • They need to hear from you. If you have any questions on how or who to contact, email CRMA President Tim Phelan at tim@crmaonline.com today and he will give you the information.
  • The idea of an increasing the sales tax is REAL. Democrats are having trouble balancing the budget just with spending cuts and there is a group of members in their caucus who want to raise the tax to close the gap.
  • CT Mirror has more on what the House D’s leadership had to say after the caucus.

Malloy Set to Take Over

  • Meanwhile, as we mentioned the clock for the end of the fiscal year is ticking down, and if the Legislature cannot come up with a budget that the Governor will sign by June 30th, then Governor Malloy will be in the driver’s seat.
  • He will be able to make all the decisions on how the government spends money until a budget is in place. Now, the Legislature can pass a temporary government spending plan to keep the government running, but if Malloy doesn’t like that, he can veto it.
  • Malloy had told legislators that yesterday, as the CT Mirror reports read more here.
  • We will be there next week to report on what is going on as either a new budget will be voted in or some type of continuing resolution to keep the government funding going is made.

Links to Live by

  • We found a couple of other stories this week that we though were interesting and wanted to share with you:
  • In the, can you believe this category, this week’s winner is Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim who is runningfor Governor.
  • The CEO of one of CT’s biggest Company has some interesting things to say about CT’s budget and our Capitol City
  • The Governor of Florida visited our State this week and it wasn’t for pleasure and it didn’t make everyone happy.

Retail News and Notes

  • Target will show the fruits of more than $7 million per store in renovation investments with the re-grand opening of eight Dallas-Fort Worth area stores this weekend.   The new footprint features a non-food entrance that opens onto fashion displays and room vignettes displaying home goods as well as wood-paneled grocery sections with wider aisles and more refrigerated cases.
  • J.C. Penney will launch an exclusive line of fashions, footwear, bags and accessories from designer Libby Edelman this summer. The collection is aimed at busy working moms, said Edelman, the designer behind brands Sam & Libby and Sam Edelman.
  • Reports of the industry’s death are greatly exaggerated. NRF’s vice president of research looks at the numbers to see what’s really going on. We’ve all heard that retail is in trouble — even serious trouble, depending on who you listen to. It’s true that some large, well-known brands are facing challenging times, just as in every industry. But the narrative that retail is struggling — or even dying — is significantly overblown.