Finance and Appropriations finish work for the year
Budget battles upcoming?
News and notes from the State Capitol
CRN Legislative Reception
News and notes from around the state

  • The Connecticut General Assembly continues to move towards its adjournment date of May 8th
  • This week the committee process concluded with the three big committees – Judiciary, Appropriations and Finance Revenue and Bonding  – all finishing their work. 
  • We were keeping a close eye on the money committees, Finance and Appropriations, and both finished work for the year. 
  • Unlike other years, this year, both committees made very few changes to the 2-year budget that is currently in place. 
  • The Appropriations Committee did not open any of the spending lines that were approved in last year’s adoption of a 2-year budget and the Finance Committee did not deal with any tax changes either. 
  • Keith Phaneuf from the CT Mirror takes a look at both Committees action. You can read Keith’s great articles by going here and here.

 

Are budget battles looming?

  • With both the money committees not making any changes, it leaves open the question as to what is next in the budget process, including the real possibility that there might a budget battle between the Legislature and the Governor’s office. 
  • As we mentioned in previous FF, the battle that might take place is how the General Assembly deals with the current so-called budget guardrails. 
  • The guardrails can best be described as the current spending cap, the rainy-day fund and the volatility cap, which has contributed greatly to the increase in the rainy day fund. 
  • The battle lines included many in the legislature, including the Speaker and Senate Leadership, wanting to go outside those guardrails to add some additional spending for things like higher education (UConn and State University System) and social services and nonprofit agencies. 
  • Governor Lamont has said he wants to stay within the guard rails and would hold firm on any attempt by the General Assembly to go around them. 
  • With the Committee’s work now done, the one of the big issues over the next 3 weeks will be on this issue and how it gets resolved. 

 

Other news and notes from the State Capitol

  • The State Senate is supposed to be in formal session next week to do “non-controversial” bills.  They may take up the paid sick leave legislation. We will keep any eye out for that and keep you posted. 
  • The House will not be in session next week and is not expected to be back in formal session until April 16th
  • One of the big issues that is still pending before the General Assembly is SB 2 AAC Artificial Intelligence that was introduced by Sen. James Maroney (D-Milford).
  • The bill was reported out of the General Law committee, but we expect another version of the bill will be released by Sen. Maroney later today or in the coming days. 
  • We will keep you up to date on its progress, but one thing to keep in mind on this issue is that Sen. Maroney, who championed the State’s Data Privacy Act, is working very closely with State Legislators from other states, primarily Colorado and Texas. 
  • We may see a good clue regarding what may happen here by keeping an eye on what takes place in those states. And with the Texas Legislature NOT in session, it looks like Sen. Maroney will working closely with his colleague in Colorado. 
  • The Finance Committee this week DID NOT act on a bill that would have eliminated the local car tax. The CTNewsJunkie takes a deep look at why the committee failed to act on this long running issue. 
  • You can go here to read that story.

 

The Place to Be… CRN Legislative Reception

  • With the Legislative process moving toward a time when both chambers will be in session regularly, 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 the event! 
  • If you are interested in sponsoring this event, take a look at this

 

News and notes from around the state

  • Bradley International Airport saw its passenger traffic increase nearly 8% in 2023, but isn’t quite back to pre-pandemic levels.  Details here from Hartford Business Journal.
  • Hartford Healthcare and GE HealthCare, a medical technology company, have extended an existing partnership through 2030, enabling HHC to frequently upgrade its imaging devices to the latest technology.  Details reported by Hartford Business Journal here
  • The offices of the New Haven Register have relocated to Meriden, a reflection of the continuing consolidation of the news media in Connecticut and nationwide.  Details reported here by the New Haven independent.  
  • The latest report from Connecticut’s Office of Health Strategy – concluding that hospital consolidations have increased healthcare costs and had a negative impact on the availability of vital hospital services – has drawn sharp reactions from the healthcare industry.  CTNewsJunkie highlights the details here.
  • The “Find Your Vibe” campaign launched in 2022 has been officially replaced with a new campaign in ad buys and branding backed by the state using the ‘Make It Here’ platform.  Fairfield County Business Journal explains, here.
  • No reports thus far of any damage from the earthquake felt in Connecticut this morning, according to the latest information from state officials.  News8 reports the latest here.