The General Assembly nearing halfway point
Action in committees on retail issues expected next week
News and notes from the State Capitol
News and notes from around the state

 

  • As we have said in previous FF, this is the so called “short session” of the General Assembly, meaning that they convene the session later – in February as opposed to January – and end their business in May, as opposed to June.
  • This year’s session is the shortest of short sessions, due to the calendar, calling them into session a week later and having them end session a week earlier than is usual.
  • This is not necessarily a bad thing.
  • As we go to print with this week’s FF, we are approaching the halfway point of the process. Specifically, most of the Committees have finished holding public hearings and have begun meeting to vote bills out of committee.
  • There remain additional committees that need to hold a public hearing on proposed bills, including the major committees – Judiciary, Finance Revenue & Bonding, and Appropriations – and some others.
  • But by the end of next week, most committees will most likely have completed their work, which will help us to identify which bills and issues they intend to deal with for the remainder of the session.
  • And it will provide us with a more precise road map to follow.

 

Action to take place on retail issues next week

  • As we mentioned above, most committees will be wrapping up business next week or will be continuing to hold public hearings.
  • Two updates in that regard: The General Law Committee will be holding a committee meeting next Tuesday, March 15 to vote on bills.
  • We expect that one of those bills will be SB 6, AAC Personal Data Privacy and Online Monitoring. This is a high priority bill for us, so we will be watching very closely the specifics in the version of the bill that is acted on.
  • The full agenda for the committee has not yet been released.
  • The Insurance and Real Estate Committee is holding a public hearing on Tuesday of next week to get input on a number of health insurance related bills.
  • One that has our attention, as it has in previous years, is HB 5383, AN ACT CONCERNING ASSOCIATION HEALTH PLANS.
  • It is an interesting proposal and one that may be beneficial to a lot of retailers. We will continue to keep a close eye on it.
  • Finally, the Public Safety Committee is holding a public hearing on SB 257, AN ACT CONCERNING HIGH VOLUME THIRD-PARTY SELLERS ON ONLINE MARKETPLACES.
  • You can go here to read that bill.

 

News and Notes Around the State Capitol

  • Lamont has agreed to give state employees raises and about $150 million in bonuses to keep experienced staffers on the job, with a wave of retirements anticipated later this year. CT Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf has the details here.
  • The legislature’s election policy committee has endorsed two similar bills that would continue pandemic policies that have eased Connecticut’s restrictions on absentee ballot voting for the past two years. CTNewsJunkie has the update here.
  • The childcare industry is struggling to attract workers, drawing the attention of CBIA, which is supporting state legislation to boost funding to help parents return to the labor force and reverse a labor shortage. The Hartford Courant has details here.
  • Connecticut Attorney General William Tong is seeking public input to report price gouging following the state’s declaration of an “abnormal market disruption” in gasoline prices. Fairfield County Business Journal reports on his request here.
  • Republicans in the state House and Senate called Thursday for suspension of the state’s wholesale tax on gasoline, until at least July 1. CT Mirror reports the proposal here.

 

News and notes around Connecticut

  • Connecticut gas prices reached an all-time high this week, hitting the $4.41 a gallon mark, according to AAA Northeast. The previous high was in 2008. News8 has the story here.
  • Former Darien First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson has announced she’s running for the Republican nomination in the 4th Congressional District, the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Jim Himes. CTNewsJunkie reports on her plans here.
  • Republican Lesley DeNardis announced that she is running against Connecticut Democratic U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, in attempt to become the first GOP member to hold the 3rd District seat since her father in the early 1980s. The Hartford Courant reports on her first campaign here.
  • Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) has received approval from the New England Commission of Higher Education to combine the state’s 12 community colleges into a single entity to be known as Connecticut State Community College in July 2023. Fairfield County Business Journal has the news here.
  • Masks will no longer be required at 17 college campuses starting April 4, Connecticut State Colleges & Universities President Terrence Cheng announced Thursday. CT Post has news of the announcement here.
  • People’s United Bank’s acquisition by Buffalo-based M&T Bank is now expected to officially close on or around April 1. Hartford Business Journal reports on the approval here.
  • Breeze Airways is expanding its presence at Bradley International Airport with the addition of six new routes in June; nonstop service to Nashville; Akron/Canton, Ohio; Savannah, Georgia; Richmond, Virginia; Jacksonville, Florida; and Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida. Details from Fairfield County Business Journal here.
  • Not to be outdone, Chicago’s Midway and the Raleigh-Durham and Baltimore-Washington international airports will get their own nonstop flights from Tweed New Haven on Avelo Airlines, it was announced this week. New Haven BIZ has the details here.