Countdown to the Start of the Session

Tolls Update

Capitol News and Notes

Links to Live By

Retail News and Notes

  • The countdown to the start of the next regular session of the General Assembly beings as we are now just under two weeks before opening day.
  • The short session – February to May – is a compact, intense time frame for lawmakers to deal with some big issues.
  • And with election season next fall and all members of the general assembly up for reelection it is hard to predict what the session will bring.
  • As we mentioned in last week’s FF, there are some big issues still outstanding that the General Assembly can take up, but often times in a short session the general assembly looks to get their business done and adjourn on time so that they can gear up for fall elections.
  • CRMA is also gearing up for the start of the session and after spending a couple of days up at the LOB this week you can feel the anxiety of the beginning of session in the air as everybody, from lawmakers to staff to lobbyists get ready for the start of the session.
  • CRMA’s Legislative Committee will be ready too. Look for more information soon about when the Legislative Committee will get started. If you would like to be notified of when the committee will hold its meetings please feel free to email Cathy in our office at cathy@crmaonline.com to make sure we have your right information.

Tolls Update

  • As we mentioned last week the big issue of tolls remains unresolved.
  • Once again, we are hearing rumblings that the Governor and supporters of tolls are pushing hard for a trucks only toll bill and that they MAY call for a special session for next week, before the start of the regular session.
  • We remain skeptical that will take place, but the Governor remains committed and legislative leaders held private meetings this week with key lawmakers to work on details.
  • Our friend Chris Keating from the Hartford Courant has more in his story from earlier this week.
  • You can go here to read that.

Capitol News and Notes

  • With the start of the session right around the corner, various caucuses will roll out their priorities for the session.
  • Earlier this week the Sen. Democrats held a press conference and identified their priorities for the year.
  • Among those that caught our eye were:
  • Data Privacy: look for the Sen Democrats to reintroduce bill that deal with the way retailers and other business communicate with their customers via email or websites.
  • Public Option: D’s have long championed the so-called public options which would allow all business the choice of buying into the State’s health care plan.
  • Legalization of Marijuana: Sen Leaders feel the time is right for CT to join neighbor Massachusetts in legalizing recreational marijuana.
  • D’s also made some changes in Committee assignments.
  • Most notable for CRMA is that Sen. James Maroney (D) Milford, has been named the Sen. Chair of the General Law Committee. We look forward to working with Sen. Maroney.

Links to Live By

  • The Yankee Institute has several suggestions on how to make the General Assembly run a little more efficient. Many of which we agree with; especially the late-night sessions.
  • This story is couple of weeks old, but we think its worth looking at again. Keith Phaneuf from the CT Mirror looks at the latest revenue numbers for the state and they look pretty good, especially vs other years.
  • Finally, Jon Lender from the Hartford Courant takes a look at the process the DMV uses when considering requests for vanity plates.

Retail News and Notes

  • A new M&Ms concept store will fill the former American Girl space at Minnesota’s Mall of America, giving the candy brand a Midwest flagship. The store will feature a glass elevator that goes to a third-floor observation deck, a two-story chocolate wall and other spots designed to be Instagram-worthy.
  • Full Story: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model)
  • Report: More shoppers are making sustainable food choices 1/24/2020
  • A new study says 23% more US consumers are making sustainable food choices a priority compared with a year ago, with many saying health benefits are the main driver. The report was compiled by food intelligence startup Tastewise, and went on to say that “although consumers are increasingly concerned about waste generally, they are still apathetic about the wastefulness of the animal agriculture industry — a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, water contamination, deforestation and a host of other environmental calamities.”
  • Full Story: Supermarket Perimeter (tiered subscription model)
  • Study: US households waste nearly a third of their food 1/24/2020
  • American households throw out almost one-third of the food they purchase, costing $1,900 per household per year on average, according to a study in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. More affluent households tended to waste more food than less affluent ones. Full Story: United Press International