Toll debate done for the year
Important Privacy hearing next week
Committees getting busy
Links to live by
Retail news and notes

  • It looks like the long running drama surround the CT’s implementation of tolling on its highways is over for now.
  • Early this week, the Governor, after meeting with Legislative Leaders, decided to pull the plug on the effort mostly because he just ran out of patience with both chambers on how they wanted to proceed with a vote on the issue.
  • Our sense all along on the toll issue would be an extremely hard one for Democrats to vote for – especially this election year.
  • With his announcement that he was backing away from tolls the governor also announced that he would shifting around bonding dollars to begin his plans for infrastructure improvements.
  • The issue of transportation funding thru tolls may be off the table, but there is still a strong chance that there will be a debate this year on how infrastructure improvements will be paid for.
  • Specifically, Sen. Len Fasano’s plan to take money from the rainy day fund and use that to fund some of the major projects that have been identified. So, the issue may not be totally dead for the year – but we are certain that implementation of tolls is off the table for this session.

General Law Committee to hold public hearing on privacy data breach bills.

  • There is an important public hearing next week on the issue of consumer privacy and on the issue of data breach.
  • The General Law Committee will hold a public hearing on two separate bills dealing with those issue. One, SB 134 AAC Consumer Privacy, is similar to legislation that was passed in California that will negatively impact ALL sizes of retailers but placing a number of new compliance requirements along with limits on discounts and loyalty cards and a whole host of other things.
  • Every retailer that does business online – which as we all know is a majority of retailers – will be impacted by this bill. So, CRMA will be actively involved in this bill. We have already had meetings with key legislators and staff and will be testifying against the bill next week.
  • The other bill – 137 AAC Data Privacy Breaches – deals more directly with notification requirements that companies have to make if they are subject to a data breach.
  • Again, any size retailer could be subject to the notification requirements under this bill. So, we will be active on this bill as well. We have met with key members on this issue as well and will be testify next week before the General Law Committee on this as well.
  • We will keep you posted on the progress of both of these bills.

Committee’s getting busy.

  • In addition to the big public hearing on Tuesday in General Law, there are a number of Committees and number of issues that impact CRMA members. We will take a look those issues by committee.
  • Finance Committee: The Finance committee just got rolling this week by raising a number of bills. You can go here to view the agenda from this week. (call me and I will show you how to do it)
  • Labor committee: The Labor committee has two scheduling bills that will impact members. One SB 227 and one house bill 5275. They are also holding a hearing on HB 5273 ACC Call Centers and Notice of Closures, that might impact some members.
  • Insurance Committee: this week the Insurance Committee raised a bill for drafting, that peaked out interest. If it is what we think it is and what we think is worth a much deeper dive and may be a significant bill for CRMA’s independent retailers.
  • AAC Association Health Care Plans. This concept would allow trade associations like CRMA to form cooperative health care groups so that employers like retailers who have under 50 employees can gain a group discount through their trade association.
  • A similar program is in place with the Retailers Association of Massachusetts and if this bill is drafted in similar fashion, we think it can help smaller retailers save money on their health insurance bill.
  • We will be keeping a close eye on this bill as well.

Links to live by:

  • It has been a busy week at the Capitol and are friends at the CT Mirror and the Courant along with CT News Junkie have been all over it.
  • Mark Pazniokas does a great job covering the saga over tolls. You can go here for that story (CT – politics- Sen Dems hedge,)
  • Daniela Altimari and Ken Gosselin of the Hartford Courant looks at life after tolls ( After the collapse)
  • This week there was a massive rally at the Capitol regarding mandatory vaccine’s for school age kids and Christine Stuart from the Ct News Junkie has a great look at that issue (CT News. 4th story down)
  • Retail news and notes