Senate President Looney joins us for Legislative Preview
News and notes from the State Capitol
News and notes from around the state

  • We are pleased to have Senate President Martin J. Looney (D-New Haven) join us for a discussion about his caucus’s legislative priorities. 
  • With this interview with Sen. Looney, CRN has now interviewed all four of the Legislative Caucus Leaders (well, sort of – more about that below) and we hope this gives members a better sense of the key issues that the General Assembly will take up this session. 
  • You can watch our conversation with Sen. Looney by going here
  • 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

  • Well, we didn’t see that coming, that’s for sure… 
  • Last Friday – shortly after we posted our FF, which included our interview with Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly – members of Sen. Kelley’s caucus decided they wanted a new leader.  They deposed Sen. Kelly and voted to insert his colleague, Sen. Steve Harding (R-Brookfield), as the new leader of Connecticut’s Senate Republicans. 
  • As our friend Mark Pazniokas of the CT Mirror writes, Sen. Harding’s win last Friday was an extraordinary mid-term challenge. Harding’s first move was too quickly to change his senior staff.  You can read Paz’s story and get additional details here.
  • As we mentioned in last week’s FF, the General Assembly has really picked up the pace this week and while it is a short session and therefore not a lot of time to do lots of bills that isn’t stopping some committee’s from raising bills for consideration.
  • Sen. James Maroney’s anticipated AI bill was released this week, and a public hearing is scheduled for next week. You can read Maroney’s bill, Senate Bill 3,  here
  • The Labor Committee held a public hearing this week on a paid sick leave bill. Our sense is that this bill will be one that will be negotiated throughout the session. 
  • The bill as drafted would include all businesses – not just retailers- and most importantly for retailers, it lowers the employee threshold for compliance from its current number of 50 employees all the way to 1 or more employees. 
  • Most likely this bill will come flying out of the Labor Committee, but as we mentioned we expect plenty of conversations about this bill before adjournment day. 
  • Thursday of next week the Insurance Committee will hold a public hearing on an important bill that could provide some relief for small retailers.
  • The bill would allow organizations like the CRN to form health care plans for smaller retailers so they can band together as a group and negotiate with insurance carriers for lower rates. 
  • In previous years, the bill was called Association Health Plans, but this year the Insurance Committee has changed the name. 
  • It is now called AN ACT CONCERNING EMPLOYEE HEALTH BENEFIT CONSORTIUMS. CRN supports this bill and will be testifying before the Committee next week. 
  • The Environment Committee held a committee meeting this morning and among the concepts that have been raised is an EPR bill on carpet. We will be watching that bill closely. 
  • The Environment Committee will be holding a public hearing next Wednesday on an ERP bill for consumer batteries.  
  • The Energy and Technology Committee wants to address the issue of fluctuating utility rates this session, along with revisiting the vetoed bill from last session concerning the testing of new technologies in the state.  Their agenda is reported here by CTNewsJunkie.
  • In a packed hearing this week, faculty and students from UConn, State Colleges, and Universities pressed legislators for more funding.  CT Examiner has that story here.  
  • Members of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Government Administration and Elections Committee met Thursday to consider a list of nearly 60 concepts that could be drafted into law during the legislative session in the weeks ahead.  The details are reported by CTNewsJunkie here.  

 

News and notes from around the state

  • A former gubernatorial candidate, president of the Connecticut State University system, state budget chief, Deputy House Speaker, and faculty member at Connecticut College, William J. Cibes Jr. has died.  CT Mirror’s Mark Pazniokas takes a look back at his stellar career.  
  • A $5.4 million federal grant will give another financial boost to Bradley International Airport for the construction of a $151 million facility where checked bags will undergo security inspections.  Details reported here by the Hartford Courant.
  • There’s a battle underway at the State Capitol over whether a popular type of small cash advance to consumers should count as a loan.  Definitions matter, consumers told legislators, as they consider revisions to a recent state law.  Details from CT Post’s Dan Haar here.  
  • Electric Boat President Kevin M. Graney told state and national legislators this week that the company expects to add about 5,000 positions this year to the local workforce in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Details reported here by the New London Day.
  • The University of Connecticut has received a record number of applications for the Class of 2028 – more than 56,700 students applied for spots in this fall’s incoming class.  Hartford Business Journal reports on the record numbers here
  • As Western Connecticut State University’s student population and that of the surrounding community steadily grow more diverse, the U.S. Department of Education designated the university as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, local leaders announced this week.  The Danbury News-Times has the details here
  • The University of New Haven has introduced Dr. Jens Frederiksen as its new president.  Frederiksen, 44, is a native of Denmark and will formally become the school’s seventh president with his tenure to begin at the end of this school year.  The Hartford Courant reports on his selection here