Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly joins us for a Legislative Preview
Labor Committee raises scheduling bill and will hold public hearing on paid sick leave
News and notes from the State Capitol
News and notes from around the state

  • Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly joins us this week in an exclusive interview with CRN to share the Senate Republican priorities for the legislative session, as well as other issues his caucus is following. 
  • You can watch that conversation with Sen. Kelly by going here
  • In addition to covering some key topics, Sen. Kelly let us know that he enjoys shopping at a local Stratford, CT retailer – The Mellow Monkey. You can check out the Mellow Monkey for yourself by going to their website
  • We want to thank our sponsor for the exclusive series of one-to-one conversations with Connecticut’s Legislative Leaders, EARNIN, for their generous support. You can learn more about EARNIN, a financial technology company, by going here

 

News and notes from the State Capitol

  • The Labor and Public Employees committee was busy again this week, continuing to raise bills and now scheduling public hearings. 
  • This week they raised a bill that CRN has opposed in previous sessions that would place new requirements on retailers with respect to how they develop employee work schedules. 
  • Our opposition to this bill continues this year with the same arguments we have made in previous sessions. Primarily that the retail industry is all about providing flexible schedules for employees and we don’t need state government dictating how we deal with scheduling matters. 
  • In addition, we know that many of our members continue to have challenges FINDING potential employees, so bills like this will only add challenges to running a retail store. 
  • This week the Labor Committee also scheduled its first public hearing of the year for February 28th
  • Among the big bills that will be on the agenda is SB 7 AAC Paid Sick Leave. You can read that bill by going here.  
  • The Labor Committee also introduced a bill to regulate the pay of rideshare drivers and ban some employee noncompete clauses.  An update from the Connecticut Post’s Ken Dixon here.  
  • The General Law Committee held a meeting this week to raise “concepts” and among them was a bill that Sen. James Maroney (D-Milford) has been working on, regulating Artificial Intelligence. 
  • That concept should come out in full bill form next week. 
  • The Environment Committee is meeting today at noon. You can review their agenda by going here.
  • The Capitol Complex is closed again on Monday for a state holiday but beginning next Tuesday they will be back and really start to kick it into gear. Many of the committees will be meeting or holding public hearings, so our activities will also ramp up. 
  • You can take a glimpse at what the General Assembly is up to next week by going to their home page and reviewing the schedule for the week. 
  • Supporters of K-12 education and early childhood education funding claimed Thursday that Gov. Lamont is trying to pit them against each other in a budget fight.  Details reported by the Waterbury Republican-American here
  • Connecticut wheelchair users are continuing to call on state lawmakers to take up legislation this session that would speed up wheelchair repair times for the thousands of people around the state.  Connecticut Public Radio reports the details here.

 

News and notes from around the state

  • According to the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, players in fiscal year 2023 won more than $1 billion in prize money.  Data show that the largest number of winners live in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford, and Waterbury.  The Hartford Courant has the data and a town-by-town map here.
  • Sales of recreational cannabis in Connecticut dropped nearly $2 million in January compared to December, according to state data, the Darien Times reports here. The average price of a recreational cannabis product was $39 in January, up from $37.8 in December.
  • Hartford HealthCare announced Thursday it has launched an artificial intelligence-driven effort to improve patient care.  Details here from Hartford Business Journal.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has allocated a $2.5 million grant to help fund a new terminal at Tweed airport.  The details are reported by the New Haven Independent here.  The town of East Haven and nonprofit Save the Sound have appealed the approval of the Tweed expansion in federal court.  CT Examiner has the details here.
  • Foxwoods Resort Casino this year plans to upgrade its high-limit table games room, open a new 30-seat slots bar, and launch renovations of The Fox Tower hotel rooms, the casino’s president and chief executive officer announced Thursday while celebrating Foxwoods’ 32nd anniversary.  The New London Day has more on the plans here.  
  • When it comes to states with the highest-earning college graduates, Connecticut is second only to Massachusetts, according to a new study by higher education research group DegreeChoices.  Fairfield County Business Journal highlights the findings here
  • Nationwide, retail sales fell 0.8% in January from the strong pace in December when they rose a revised 0.4%, according to the Commerce Department’s report on Thursday.  Details from the Associated Press here
  • Bob Stefanowski, the Republican candidate for Connecticut governor in 2018 and 2022, was named managing director of the New York City office of NEOM, the planned Saudi Arabian development owned by The Public Investment Fund, the wealth fund of the Saudi government.  Details reported by the Fairfield County Business Journal here
  • Lake Compounce will open for the 2024 season on Saturday, April 27.  “America’s First Amusement Park will offer a full season of events as it celebrates its 178th season as the longest-running amusement park in the country.  Details here from the Hartford Courant.
  • The Mark Twain House & Museum and the Weir Farm National Historic Site, both located in Connecticut, are among the 50 most popular historic sites across the nation for family visits, according to a new national survey.  Details reported here by the Hartford Courant.