State’s COVID-19 numbers dropping
Legislature considering privacy legislation that impacts all retailers
Other news from the State Capitol
Sen. Blumenthal to visit with CRMA members
Other news and notes from around the state
- We start off this week’s FF by noting that over the past week, CT’s overall COVID-19 numbers have seen an impressive drop-off.
- We will have more on the overall COVID-19 update below, but it is hard not to notice that our infection rates and hospitalizations have all fallen dramatically and nearing numbers that we have not seen since late September. In addition, CT ranks 4th in the nation in administering the two vaccines that are currently available.
- With all this good news come questions as to what is next.
- We expect that next week the Governor will make further announcements regarding the next round of people who will become eligible for vaccines.
- The Governor has hinted that among the groups of people that will become eligible will be teachers and “essential workers”. We have been in contact with the Department of Public Health and with the Governor’s office trying to get some insight into what they are thinking. As soon as we hear anything definitive from the Governor’s folks, we will share that with you.
Legislature to hold Public Hearing on consumer privacy bill.
- Among the major issues facing retailers in this hybrid world that we live in, is how retailers interact with consumers in the digital age – and more importantly, how do we safely protect our customers’ sensitive information.
- To that end, many states are trying to create legislative solutions that force retailers and other business to make changes in the way they handle customer information in an attempt to put protections in place. And while those are good intentions, they come at a cost – a substantial cost – to any retailer who handles any customer information.
- That is why CRMA is keeping a close eye on legislation that has been introduced this session. We have already seen one bill that is a copy of legislation that was passed in California that would have enormous costs for small retailers to comply with.
- CRMA opposes that bill. In addition, there is another bill that is being considered that would take a little bit from the California bill and a little bit from another state that has yet to pass it. We oppose that bill too.
- CRMA feels that this issue is such an important one and that a state-by-state approach is not the right way to deal with it. Rather, we believe this is an issue that Congress should act on and we will be letting members of the General Law Committee know that when the bill is up for a public hearing next week before the Committee.
- We have more from around the State Capitol below, but as always if you would like to learn more about this issue or any other, please feel free to reach out to us and join our legislative committee.
News from the State Capitol
- A marathon virtual public hearing highlighted the struggles at the legislature to operate remotely through the public hearing process during the current session. CTNewsJunkie highlights the challenges here.
- Lamont defended his environmental and transportation plans, which includes what some have described as an increased “fuel tax.” CTNewsJunkie reports the story here.
- State Rep. J.P. Sredzinski resigned from his seat representing Newtown and Monroe because of the demands of a promotion at work and his family life. CT Post has the explanation here.
Webinars for CRMA Members
- S. Senator Richard Blumenthal will be meeting with Connecticut retailers on February 26 at 9:30 AM via Zoom. Please mark your calendar, and join us!
- To register in advance, go to: https://senate.zoomgov.com/meeting/register/vJIsdOGhqjsiEvmMcx__VhOXa-bcEZ7sbWE After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
- Send questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you’d like to learn more about the new Connecticut Paid Leave law, we have added a fact sheet on the CRMA website, and you can tune in to a webinar on Thursday, February 25, 12pm-1pm. Here’s the link to register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bHGiSM8KQa-nxdjYiCbaGw
- Larger events may once again be possible in Connecticut beginning March 19, if the COVID numbers continue to trend in the right direction, Gov. Lamont said this week. CT Mirror has the update here.
- Connecticut ranks third in the nation for vaccine distribution. So far, the state has vaccinated: 68% of its population over the age of 75 and 29% of its population between the ages of 65 and 74. The latest state data can be seen here.
- A variant of COVID-19 first seen in South Africa was discovered in Connecticut for the first time this week. CT Mirror has that update here.
- Among those receiving a vaccination this week was Governor Lamont, in Bloomfield. New Haven BIZ tells the story.
News and notes from Around the State
- Lamont and the legislature’s Finance Committee are trying to shield thousands of residents with out-of-state employers from double taxation amidst the pandemic and work-from-home. Hartford Business Journal has the story here.
- A hedge fund with a reputation from newsroom cutbacks is acquiring the owner of The Hartford Courant, a cause for concern at the nation’s oldest continually published newspaper. Hartford Business Journal reports the news here.
- If Connecticut legalizes recreational marijuana, there are businesses ready to get rolling. CT Mirror’s Mark Pazniokas has the story here.
- Pratt & Whitney stepped up in a big way to support Middletown’s Main Street businesses. Middletown Press has the details here.
- The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, operators of the Foxwoods casino in Ledyard, are moving forward with a new facility – in Puerto Rico. CT Latino News has the story here.
- Former Mets and Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, executive director of athletics at Sacred Heart University since 2013, is reportedly considering running for Mayor of Stamford, his hometown. CT Post has the details here.