AI bill gaining traction
Sen. Democrats and AG Tong team up on price gouging
News and notes from the State Capitol
CRN Legislative Reception
News and notes from around the state

  • As the General Assembly continues its march towards the finish line, one of the bills that is gaining more momentum is one that deals with how government will deal with regulating Artificial Intelligence.
  • As we have mentioned in this space in previous FF, the lead Legislator in this effort is Sen. James Maroney (D-Milford) and this week it appears that Sen Maroney has found a House counterpart that may help him get the bill through that chamber. 
  • Rep. Jamie Foster (D -Ellington) has emerged as the point person in the House. Foster is a second term member but one who has gained the endorsement of House Speaker Ritter, who asked her to take the lead on this issue for his caucus. 
  • The fact that Rep. Foster is involved could be taken as a sign that House leadership is at least interested enough in the issue that they want someone in their caucus to be able to bring out the bill and handle any questions if/when it may come before the House. 
  • But the question of whether the bill will make it through the House and to the Governor is one that cannot be answered with any certainty. 
  • While we are still working with Sen. Maroney trying to get important protections in place for retailers – technically referred to as deployers in the bill – other industry groups and the Governor’s office are also working on key parts of the bill that impact them. 
  • We understand that the Governor’s office is weary of the bill. 
  • They are concerned that if industry’s concerns are not dealt with, the passage of the bill may have a chilling effect on the tech industry that is emerging in CT and put CT in a noncompetitive place with respect to surrounding states. 
  • The bill is being worked on continually by Sen. Maroney and others, with new changes released for review each week. But the clock is ticking, and adjournment day is right around the corner. 

 

Sen D’s and AG Tong team up on price gouging

  • Yesterday, Sen. Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) and a number of his colleagues in the Senate held a press conference to announce that they will be working with AG William Tong to investigate whether retail grocery storers were involved in price gouging, which they claim has resulted in increased food prices.
  • Sen. Duff, along with Senate President Pro Tem Marty Looney, D-New Haven, said they also plan to seek expanded authority for the attorney general to investigate profiteering throughout the food supply chain, from distributors to producers.
  • We will keep a close eye on this issue during the final 3 weeks of the legislative session. 
  • Details here reported by CT Mirror. 

 

News and notes from the State Capitol

  • Looks like the mini spring break that the General Assembly took over the last 10 days will end next week. 
  • The House is scheduled to be in formal session next week to take up bills on their calendar. The House is expected to in on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. 
  • The State Senate will be in formal session Wednesday and Thursday of next week.
  • As we reported in last week’s FF, there is a little budget battle brewing between the House and Sen. Democrats and the Governor’s office. 
  • This week the Gov.’s office let it be known that they are not interested in allowing the legislature to spend some additional dollars without budget cuts offsetting that additional spending. 
  • As usual, Keith Phaneuf of the CT Mirror has all those details. You can go here to read that story.
  • Earned wage access (EWA) has been an innovative way to offer workers the flexibility to access a portion of their earned wages before payday without the credit impact or extra fees. 
  • Connecticut has implemented regulations that shut down almost every provider of EWA services in the state virtually overnight.  In an op-ed published by the CT Mirror, CRN’s Tim Phelan urges the legislature to protect and uplift Connecticut’s workers, by permitting EWA in the state.
  • You can read the op-ed here.
  • Gov. Ned Lamont traveled to New Britain on Wednesday to announce nearly 100 nonprofit mental health service providers across the state will get more than $35 million in state funding, what he described as “the biggest investment in our nonprofit mental health providers in the history of the state.”  CTNewsJunkie reports on the Governor’s plan here.
  • A key state lawmaker said Thursday she opposes the idea of reverting back to a controversial managed care plan for nearly one million Medicaid recipients, setting up a potential showdown between Gov. Ned Lamont and a legislature controlled by his party.  Details of the policy differences reported here by CTNewsJunkie.
  • State Rep. Mary Welander (D-Orange) is main sponsor of a bill to boost the Office of the Child Advocate’s budget by $300,000.  Details reported by CT Examiner here.

 

CRN Legislative Reception… the Place to Be

  • With the Legislative process less than a month away from Constitutionally-mandated adjournment on May 8, the timing of the CRN Legislative Reception could not be better.
  • Please make plans to join us for our Legislative Reception on Tuesday, April 30th from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at the State Capitol.  The legislature will be in session that day so it will be a great opportunity for members to meet with their local legislators in a casual setting.
  • You won’t want to miss this event! 
  • If you are interested in sponsoring the event, take a look at this

 

News and notes from around the state

  • With home values surging 17.4 percent in the last year, Waterbury made a list of the top 10 communities nationwide for value appreciation, according to a report released this week by Zillow.  CT Post has the numbers here.
  • Homeowners will be encouraged to strengthen their roofs, fire-proof their siding and install sump pumps under a new national plan to protect against climate disasters spearheaded by Connecticut’s insurance commissioner.  Details reported by CT Post here.  
  • According to a Wallethub study, Connecticut ranks 47 out of all 50 states for growth in overall mortgage debt in the third and fourth quarters of 2023.  Fairfield County Business Journal reports on the new data here
  • After two months of dipping sales, Connecticut’s cannabis market crawled back in March, according to state data, with the average price per gram higher than it’s ever been.  That story here from CT Insider.
  • After almost 50 years in the aviation industry and the last dozen as the state’s top airport official, Kevin A. Dillon is retiring as executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) early next year.  Details from Hartford Business Journal here.
  • Excitement took over at Raising Cane’s in Enfield as members of UConn’s national championship men’s basketball team served fans fried chicken.  NBC Connecticut was there too.  Here’s their story.  Congratulations, UConn!