General Law Committee reports out consumer privacy bill
Other news and notes from the State Capitol
Save the Date for Golf
News and notes from around the state

  • This week the General Law Committee finished its work for the session, but not before reporting out an important bill that CRMA was actively involved with.
  • The bill, HB 893, is modeled after similar legislation passed in Virginia, which would clarify ways that consumers exchange information with retailers and other businesses, and place important protections on that data.
  • CRMA’s number one priority, in any consumer privacy issue, is that our customers information is protected and our ability to communicate with customers can continue without any unnecessary barriers.
  • We believe this bill accomplishes that, and we look forward to working with legislators as the bill moves along in the process.

 

Other news and notes from the State Capitol

  • With General Law’s committee work done, there are other key committees that we continue to keep an eye on as we close out the month of March.
  • This week the Labor Committee, which has a deadline of March 30th reported out of its committee HB 6343, which will study the impact that GIG workers have on CT’s economy and workplace.
  • Many issues remain pending in the Environment Committee. The Committee has a deadline of April 5th but word is that they may finish next Wednesday.
  • Environment has a host of significant issues that impact businesses and consumers. We are keeping a close eye on three of them as we are certain they will get reported out to the Committee.
  • One would revise Connecticut’s bottle deposit law. Among the possible revisions that the Environment Committee is considering is increasing the deposit fee from the current 5 cents to 10 cents, while also adding additional items.
  • They are also considering a whole new approach with the Bottle Bill, one that is similar to the system in Oregon, where consumers are charged a fee at the point of sale, but the redemption of the bottle would take place at redemption centers that are located throughout the state.
  • We expect that the Environment Committee will vote out one of these proposals when they meet next week.
  • Back in February, our friend at the Hartford Courant, Chris Keating, did a good story on this issue. You can go here to read that story.
  • The Environment Committee is also giving consideration to a bill that would impose a new program on sellers of tires and propane gas cylinders. The program, called Extended Producer Responsibility, would be similar to programs in place for paint and mattresses.
  • CRMA has always been skeptical of an yEPR proposal, simply because we think it is a hidden tax on consumers that places additional burdens on our members who sell those products. But it seems the environmental community and the Environment Committee have a different view.
  • We expect both of those bills to be on Environment’s agenda next week.
  • Finally, CRMA is still actively lobbying against a bill that we strongly believe will have a negative impact on all of our members. The bill is HB 6187, An Act Concerning the Restructuring of Certain Taxes and Tax Equity – aka a digital ad tax bill.
  • We testified again the bill at a public hearing and this week we sent a letter to Governor Lamont and to leaders of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.
  • The Finance Committee has not yet taken any action of the bill. Finance has an April 22nd
  • Speaking of the Finance Committee, Connecticut’s tax revenue continues to roll in, leaving the state to close the fiscal year with $800 million to spare, according to reports from two state financial offices. CT Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf has the details here.
  • House Democrats have voted to extend Gov. Lamont’s executive powers through May 20, despite objections from Republicans. The Senate may vote on the extension next week.  CTNewsJunkie has the latest here.
  • Legislation that would legalize marijuana, but with a slightly different approach than that proposed by Gov. Lamont, was approved by the legislature’s Labor Committee this week. Both bills are seen as works in progress. CTNewsJunkie explains, here.
  • Efforts aimed at legalizing online gambling and sports betting continue to pick up steam. The legislature’s Public Safety committee advanced three bills this week that would expand gambling in the state.  CTNewsJunkie has the latest developments, here.  And CT Mirror’s Mark Pazniokas looks at the players behind the deal, here.

 

CRMA Golf outing SAVE THE DATE

  • With spring now here – thank goodness! – we ask that you put a marker on your schedule for our Annual Golf Outing.
  • This year, the event will be held JUNE 29th at Wampanoag CC in West Hartford. You can go here for more details.
  • If you would like to help us by serving on our golf committee, feel free to email us at tim@crmaonline.com. Hope we will see you on the links this year.

 

New and notes around the state

  • Connecticut’s economy grew by 7% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to newly released federal data.
  • The state’s unemployment rate jumped to 8.5% in February, despite Connecticut adding 3,000 jobs during the month. That data was released this week by the Labor Department.
  • Vice President Kamala Harris is in New Haven today, with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and Miguel Cardona, now the U.S. Secretary of Education, to highlight the expanded child care tax credit. The Hartford Courant highlights the visit here.
  • Over the past year the Connecticut Department of Labor has held about 100,000 claims due to fraud, NBC Connecticut reported this week. Their story is here.
  • Connecticut residents age 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine on April 1, as the state has now twice moved up the date. CT Mirror has the updated details here.
  • Even as vaccine numbers grow, state officials are watching positivity rate and hospitalizations also continuing to increase. The Hartford Courant has the story here.