CRMA Urges Governor, Legislators to Oppose Digital Advertising Tax
News and Notes from Around the Capitol
CRMA Survey on Possible Vaccine Passport
News and notes Around Connecticut

  • CRMA has been working aggressively at the State Capitol to oppose the digital advertising tax that is now being considered.
  • We’re underscoring that although the tech giants are being targeted, the costs would end up being passed along to local retail advertisers. At the worst possible time, as retail businesses are trying to recover from the severe economic challenges of the past year.
  • Adding to testimony before the legislature’s Finance Committee, CRMA, joined by 21 retail business owners from across the industry, has written to Gov. Lamont and legislative leaders, urging them to drop the proposal – because it would hurt Connecticut retailers. Hartford Business Journal reports the story here.
  • It is absolutely critical that local retailers reach out to local legislators in the Senate and House – let them know that the digital advertising tax would increase your costs and hurt your businesses. Legislators need to hear from their constituents!
  • The last thing that retailers need now is a new tax, and increased costs of doing business. CRMA will keep the pressure on, and we need your help.  Read a copy of our letter to the Governor, here.
  • Please contact Tim Phelan at tim@crmaonline.com if we can help you to join the effort to defeat this onerous proposal before it goes any further.  And thank you to the retailers who have already spoken out and stepped up!
  • Additional media stories are in the works. CRMA is your voice at the Capitol – we need a strong chorus with us to get this done.

 

News and notes from around the Capitol

  • In addition to the digital advertising tax, CRMA is actively involved in several issues that will impact retailers.
  • We are concerned that the Labor Committee has reported out of committee SB 668, AAC a Fair Work Schedule, which would require certain employers to provide advance notice to of employees’ work schedule.
  • We are preparing our response to this bill but need your input. Please send us your comments as soon as you can as the bill will soon be ready for action in the Senate.
  • We also remain concerned about bills that have been reported out of the Environment Committee, particularly, HB 6386, An Act Concerning Extending Producer Responsibility for Tires, Smoke Detectors and Certain Gas Cylinders.
  • The bill would establish an EPR program for three products that retailers sell, tires, smoke detectors and propane gas cylinders.
  • EPR programs are essentially a fee that the legislature allows a third party to establish and charge customers at the point of sale. For instance, there are EPR programs for the sale of paint and for the sale of mattress. HB 6386 would do the same for these products.
  • We are still unsure of the status of SB 893 AAC Consumer Privacy.
  • This bill, which was reported out of the General Law Committee, is still being discussed and changes to the bill may take place.
  • CRMA’s number one priority in any consumer privacy legislation is the protection of our customers’ information and our ability to communicate with customers so that we inform them of sales and allow them to participate in loyalty programs.
  • SB 893 as currently drafted, allows for that to continue, but we are concerned that there might be changes to that bill, so we continue to monitor that bill as well.
  • We are very disappointed that the Judiciary committee reported out HB 6564 An Act Concerning Secondhand Dealers, Precious Metals or Stones Dealers and Pawnbrokers, and will continue to oppose this bill. The ability of pawnshops to issue checks and then cash those checks is outrageous. We will continue our strong opposition.
  • Among of the big issues coming into this session was the legalization of recreational marijuana. Earlier this week the Judiciary committee passed out its version of the bill. You can go here to read more about that.
  • Despite the staggering number of bills that have been introduced during this COVID -19 virtual session – some 2,800 bills have been filed – we have entered the month of April and the House is not scheduled to go into session until April 19th. And there is not date set just yet for when the Senate will go back into formal session.
  • Finally, CRMA is joining forces with CBIA and others in the business community in urging the Governor and the legislature to use the expected federal funding that the state will receive to help replenish the unemployment trust fund.
  • The Governor yesterday signaled his willingness to consider that, and we hope to gain more legislative support as well. We will keep you posted as this moves forward.

Survey on Possible Vaccine Passport

  • CRMA has been asked by the Governor’s administration to gather input from retailers regarding the possible use of a vaccine passport in Connecticut.
  • Please take the very brief survey, so we can provide the retail community’s point of view in such a process. Take the survey here.  Thank you!

 

News and notes around Connecticut

  • Former State Rep. and Senator Clark Chapin has been nominated to be State Auditor, succeeding the late Rob Kane. CTNewsJunkie has the story here.
  • Our friends at Eversource have appointed a new CEO and look forward to continue to work with him and his team. The Hartford Courant has the story here.
  • The arrival of J&J vaccines in Connecticut has been impacted by a factory error; thousands fewer now expected in the coming weeks. New Haven BIZ has the story here.
  • A new study ranked Connecticut and New York as among the states with the highest property taxes. Fairfield County Business Journal has the details here.
  • The state’s vehicle emissions testing program has been disrupted by a malware attack on a service provider. The New Haven Register has the story here.