Senate Democrats identify Consumer Privacy as a top agenda item
Labor Committee raises Fair Work Week bill again
Other news and notes from the State Capitol
News and notes from around the state

  • The CT General Assembly is diving right into its work this session, wasting no time in raising concepts and bills across all committees.
  • One of the top issues that has been on the CRMA agenda for the past several years is Consumer Privacy. As we know, retailers and other customer-facing businesses recognize how vital the use of consumer date is to our relationship with our customers.
  • Simply put, we are different than other businesses that use customer or personal data. To us, customer data is not a commodity to be mined, scored and flipped to other business. Rather, it is a core element of the customer experience and key to any retailer’s success in serving customers as they expect to be served.
  • That is why we are so engrossed in the details of any legislation that is introduced dealing with this issue and why we want work with any legislator to make sure the passage of any data privacy bill does not unintentionally place more burdens or undue responsibility on retailers in the handling of consumer data.
  • In short, we want any regulation or legislation that is enacted to allow us to continue to use the data to benefit the consumer.
  • Yesterday the Senate Democrats, led by State Senate James Maroney (D-Milford) held a press event to announce that once again this session data privacy will be a priority issue for their caucus.
  • Maroney, who is the Senate Chair of the General Law Committee, will spearhead this issue and we look forward to continuing to work with him and other members of legislature to make sure that ALL SIZE retailers are protected in any version of a bill that is considered.
  • Yesterday, the General Law committee took the formal step of raising a bill – Senate Bill 6, An Act Concerning Personal Data Privacy and Online Monitoring – to begin the process of considering this bill and announced that there will be public hearing on the bill March 1st.
  • CRMA sent a letter to Sen Maroney outlining 4 key areas that we will be looking for when reviewing data privacy legislation.
  • We will keep you posted on the progress of this issue throughout the remainder of the legislative session.
  • CT News Junkie has more on the Senate Democrats press conference and our reaction to the bill being introduced. You go can here to read that.


Labor Committee raises two bills impacting retailers

  • Also this week, the Labor Committee held a committee meeting to raise concepts for consideration.
  • Among a number of concepts raised that caught our immediate attention was one that deals with how retailers can set up work schedules for frontline workers.
  • A so-called Fair Work Week bill has been introduced in previous sessions but has not gained enough support for final passage.
  • So the Labor Committee is going to try again this year to pass that bill.
  • The Labor Committee also raised a bill dealing with warehouse workers. That bill caught our attention and we will be keeping a close eye that one as well.
  • The Labor Committee is another key committee for us to keep watch on so we will be keeping you up to date on these bills and others they may consider through the remainder of the session.


Other news and notes from the State Capitol

  • The committee process is up and running – and in some ways you wouldn’t know it was a short session with all the ‘concepts’ that are being raised.
  • The Finance Committee is meeting today. Here is their agenda.
  • We will be watching closely what takes place in the Finance Committee.
  • We have previously mentioned the General Law Committee. They met earlier this week and raised a number of concepts for consideration including the Department of Consumer Protections legislative package.
  • One of the bills DCP asked to be introduced is HB 5150, AAC the Department of Consumer Protection, with recommendations regarding consumers, retailers and credit transactions. You can go here to read that bill.
  • We are going to keep a close eye on that bill.
  • The Environment Committee was also busy this week raising a number of recycling bills that will have an impact on variety of our members. You can see the Environment Committee agenda by going here.
  • The Aging Committee raised a concept that would allow for increased unused cash balances on gift cards to be returned to customers.
  • Concepts that are raised by Committees are revised into legislative language, and then the bills are scheduled for a public hearing. So this stage of the process provides an idea of what the committee is thinking on a particular issue.
  • Much more to follow on all of it.
  • Meanwhile, three more incumbent legislators announced they are not running for re-election this fall.
  • Dan Champagne of Vernon is the most recent Republican to announce he is not seeking reelection. Now, at least four of the Republican minority’s 13 seats in the 36-seat Senate will be open in this November’s election. CT Mirror has the breakdown here.
  • State Rep. Joe de la Cruz, D-Groton, announced he will not run for reelection this year after he finishes his third term, saying that the legislative salary is “truly not enough to live on, it’s truly not enough to retire on.” CT Examiner has the story here.
  • Republican State Rep. Rosa C. Rebimbas of Naugatuck announced this week that she is giving up her legislative seat to run for probate judge for Naugatuck, Prospect, Beacon Falls and Middlebury this fall She was first elected in 2009. Waterbury Republican-American has the story here.


News and Notes from around the state

  • Across the nation, retail sales increased 3.8% from December to January, the U.S. Commerce Department said this week, a bigger increase than economists had expected. News12 has the story here.
  • Foxwoods Resort Casino plans to undertake several major expansion projects over the coming months and years, including the addition of an indoor waterpark, a new bingo hall and a new expo center. Hartford Business Journal reports on their plans here.
  • During the next 30 years, experts expect sea levels to rise about 10 to 12 inches. For the Connecticut coastline, the impact could be significant, according to a new federal report.  News8 has the story here.
  • Popular tourist spots Myrtle Beach, Nashville, Savannah and Charleston will join Avelo Airlines’ roster of southbound routes from Tweed New Haven Airport, officials announced. New Haven BIZ reports on the airline’s plans here.
  • Breeze Airways plans to set up an operations hub at Bradley International Airport, a move expected to create more than 200 jobs in the state. Hartford Business Journal reports on their plans here.
  • The State I’m In, the new CT tourism campaign, aims to create a more current perception of Connecticut — one that is vibrant, diverse, youthful, and full of surprising experiences. The campaign includes billboards as well as vibrant new TV spots. State officials report the campaign is generating a strong, positive response from consumers.  The new TV spots, including one that you may have seen during the Super Bowl, can be seen here.