Legislature adjourns for regular session with some unfinished business
Major victories for CRMA
Special session possible next week
Other news and notes from the State Capitol
CRMA Golf Outing update.
News and notes from around the state
- Under CT’s Constitution, both the House of Representatives and the State Senate are guided by a scheduled that requires that in odd numbered years like this one, they begin in January and are required to end by midnight on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in June.
- This Wednesday was that day, and while they didn’t go all the way to midnight, the General Assembly did adjourn its regular session close to midnight on June 9.
- During this “long” session, one of the major obligations of the General Assembly is to adopt an operating budget for the State. This year the General Assembly did just that, with the House giving final passage on Tuesday and the Senate following suit the next day.
- In addition to the budget, the General Assembly can take up hundreds of different issues and this year was no exception. As we have reported to you over the course of the session, many of those issues were considered in this session.
- The Hartford Courant gives you a good review of the big issues that the General Assembly did get over the finish line. You can go here to review that. And CTNewsJunkie looks at key issues during the session, here.
- So, while the House and Senate Democrats, who hold overwhelming majorities in both chambers, are pleased with the results of the session, they did adjourn with some unfinished business and as a result had to call themselves into special session.
- First, on the budget, the legislature failed to adopt the necessary statutory language that implements the budget numbers. This is necessary for the budget to go into effect.
- The so-called budget implementors will now have to be taken up when members go back in for Special Session.
- Another major issue that the Democratic majority and the Governor wanted to enact this session – but failed to do it on time – is the adoption of law that would allow for recreational marijuana to be sold legally in the state.
- That major issue ran into roadblocks at the end of the session for a variety of reasons, and as a result the General Assembly decided the best course of action was to take it up in a Special Session.
- House and Senate Leaders have yet to announce a firm date for the Special Session, but speculation is that it will take place sometime next week. While the call of the session is to deal with budget implementers and recreational marijuana, there is always the chance that the General Assembly could take up other issues that did not get done during the regular session.
- Our friends at the CT Mirror have a deeper look here at the end of the session – and what to expect in the Special Session.
Major Victories for CRMA
- For CRMA, while this was not a perfect session for us, overall we are extremely pleased with the results of the regular session.
- As the session moved along, it was clear that there would be some big issues that would have a potential impact on ALL our members, so we focused on how we could prevent those from passing into law.
- We reported last week that it appeared that one of those issues, the General Assembly’s consideration of a new “digital ad” tax that would be imposed on big tech companies but what we felt would be passed on to our members, was headed for defeat.
- We are pleased to report that is the case. The budget adopted by the General Assembly DID NOT include a digital ad tax. We cannot thank all of those members who contacted their local State Rep and State Senator enough for all their help. It really made a huge difference – and it demonstrated that when the retail industry gets engaged on an issue, we can have a great deal of influence.
- We are also pleased to report that a so-called consumer privacy bill that, while well intentioned, was also fraught with challenges for retailers to comply with and which could have put barriers in place between retailers and our customers, also DID NOT pass.
- That issue will return, no doubt. It is unlikely that it will be dealt with during the Special Session, but we will keep a close eye on that to ensure it does not get included.
- Another bill that grabbed our attention during the last month of the session was a scheduling bill that would have had a big impact on members. Although that bill passed the State Senate, it DID NOT pass the House.
- The Legislature also DID NOT take up a bill that would have imposed new obligations for the end-of-life treatment of tires, gas cylinders and smoke detectors. The bill would have imposed a new fee for each of those products collected by the retail. We expect that issue will return in next year’s session.
- We want to thank the CRMA Legislative Committee members for all their help and guidance during the long session. We encourage all members to participate in this committee. If you would like to be added to the list of members that are part of the Committee, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other news and notes from around the State Capitol
- One of the unique characteristics of the State Senate is that because there are only 36 members, as opposed to the House which has 151 members, the Senate can move business at a must faster pace than the House.
- This past Friday night was a great example of that, as the Senate stayed into session until early in the morning Saturday but gave final passage to a number of bills that came up from the House.
- Among those were some that CRMA was following, including:
HB 5307, An Act Concerning Price Gouging
HB5310, An Act Concerning Data Privacy Breaches
HB 5312, An Act Concerning Acceptable Forms of Currency as Payment in Local Businesses
HB 6100, Ac Act Concerning Department of Consumer Protection Licensing and Enforcement and Revisions to the Liquor Control Act
· Also, a very important bill that CRMA supported along with our friends at CBIA, was HB 6633, An Act Restructuring Unemployment Insurance Benefits and Improving Fund Solvency
CRMA Golf Outing – Join us June 29!
- The CRMA Golf Outing is just weeks away – on Tuesday, June 29! Please consider helping us by purchasing a foursome, or being a sponsor, or donating a raffle prize.
- The Golf Outing is an important fundraiser for CRMA, and we thank you for considering helping us this year.
- You can go here to learn more about this year’s event, at Wampanoag CC in West Hartford. We look forward to seeing you!
News and notes from around the state
- State exports took a hit during 2020, with a 15% drop. CT by the Numbers has the data here.
- Connecticut’s newly approved Baby Bonds program would apparently be the first in the nation. The Hartford Courant details the new initiative here.
- Restate sales activity increased last fiscal year in Connecticut, despite the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the final three months. New Haven BIZ reports the numbers here.
- Profits at Connecticut’s banks collectively rose by over 100% on a year-over-year basis during the first quarter, according to the FDIC. Fairfield County Business Journal has the news here.
- Connecticut consumers soon may be able to pour their own beer and alcoholic drinks. CT Post has the details here.