Legislature off to a slow start
State Capitol news and notes
COVID 19 Vaccine updates
News and notes from around the state

  • Maybe it is the nature of a long session or maybe it’s the first ever virtual session, but the General Assembly is off to a little bit of a slow start.
  • We are sure things will pick up, but for now the pace is slow with only a few committees holding meetings to raise bills and schedule public hearings.
  • The long session does tend to get off to a slow start but if you add Zoom meetings and the technical challenges that can happen when you do that, it makes one wonder if maybe the Leadership will encourage Committee Chairs to really limit the number of bills to just high priority issues.
  • We will keep an eye on it as usual and keep you informed the best we can. In the meantime, our Legislative committee will continue to meet and review the status of the bills that have been introduced.
  • The legislative committee is open to all members. Please email us at tim@crmaonline.com if you would like to get notifications for those meetings.

 

Other Capitol news and notes

  • The next big thing to keep eye on is in early February when Governor Lamont has to present his next 2-year budget to the Legislature.
  • The Governor and the state got good news on the budget front this week which might make the job of producing a budget a little easier.
  • Revenue estimates show that recent sales tax receipts other revenue wipes out the deficit in the current year, which ends June 30th, and adds some $70 million to the Rainy-Day fund. CT Mirror has the update, here.
  • The General Law Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing next week on Thursday and we expect that they will include a consumer privacy bill that they have been working on.
  • The Environment Committee is holding a meeting today to raise bills.
  • One that we will be keeping a close eye on is an Extended Producer Responsibility Bill for discarded tires, smoke detectors and propane gas cylinders. It may take a couple of days for the actual bill language to be released and we will share that with members when it’s available.
  • The Legislature is debating whether they should be debating controversial proposals at a time when the public cannot testify in-person because the State Capitol remains closed due to the coronavirus. Waterbury Republican-American reports that story here.
  • Governor Lamont has set Tuesday, March 2 as the date to hold a special election to fill a vacancy for State Senator in the 27th District, which includes portions of Darien and Stamford. Here’s the official announcement.
  • Ned Lamont has indicated he would ask the legislature to extend the emergency declarations that have backed his COVID-19-related executive orders since last March, set to expire on Feb. 9. CTNewsJunkie has the details here.

 

Covid 19 Vaccine Updates 

  • Connecticut’s COVID positivity rate has dropped slightly, and the number of hospitalizations is somewhat lower, even as state and federal officials indicate both numbers could soon increase. The Hartford Courant has the latest COVID news and numbers here.
  • Connecticut has opened its largest COVID vaccination location – on the site of the former Pratt & Whitney Field in East Hartford. CT Mirror provides a look at the facility and how it will operate, here.
  • Connecticut is looking for more doses of the COVID vaccine, and health officials are indicating it may be a while until the entire population will have an opportunity to receive a vaccine. The Hartford Courant reports the story here and Connecticut Post has details here.
  • Lamont will co-chair the National Governors Association’s Pandemic and Disaster Response Task Force with Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee. CTNewsJunkie reports the story here.
  • The Lamont administration has suspended its search for a new public health commissioner at least for the duration of the pandemic. Dr. Deidre Gifford, the social services commissioner, will continue to head both agencies, as she has since May.  CTNewsJunkie has the details.
  • President Biden has outlined his comprehensive COVID plan, which includes greater coordination between the federal and state governments. The Administration’s full plan is here; highlights are reported by NBC News here.

 

Other News & Notes from around the state

  • Norwalk will provide 30 one-time grants of $5,000 to Norwalk-based for-profit businesses with 25 or fewer employees. Fairfield County Business Journal has the details here.
  • Increases in 2020 real estate activity increased demand for homes and pushed prices upward, according to industry experts. CTNewsJunkie has the details here.
  • People’s United Bank announced plans not to renew its existing in-store branch contracts with Stop & Shop supermarkets in New York and Connecticut, with branches to close in a phased approach. There are 84 currently in Connecticut.  The announcement is here.