CRMA legislative activity picks up. Key bills and issues being released by Committees
Lamont administration dealing with controversy
Other news and notes from the State Capitol
News and notes from around the state
- This past week demonstrates how fast things can happen during a short session.
- As you will see below, several issues and meetings have taken place this week, and committees have quickly set schedules for action on bills for the upcoming week.
- CRMA is actively involved and engaged in these key issues and will continue to do our best to keep members updated on the fast-moving action of the General Assembly
- As the session moves along, it is key for our success that our members, like you, can engage with us when we ask. So, please consider taking time out of your schedule to assist us as we work thru the various issues that come up, so that we can demonstrate to legislators how those bills would impact your bottom line.
Key bills released and public hearings scheduled
- As we go to print today, the Environment Committee is holding a public hearing on bills that CRMA is concerned about. Those include: HB 5139 – An Act Concerning Extended Producer Responsibility for Tires; HB 5142 – AAC Producer Responsibility for Certain Gas Cylinders; and SB 115 – AAC Extended Producer Responsibility for Consumer Packaging.
- The Environment Committee is pursuing a path that imposes what is commonly known as Extended Producer Responsibility on tires, gas cylinders and packaging. In all of these issues, EPR forces a new fee or tax to be assessed on each product. We think that is wrong and not needed, as there are plans in place for some of these issues and in others not enough evidence to support putting in place an EPR program.
- Meanwhile, the General Law Committee has scheduled a public hearing for a very important issue that will impact all sizes retailers. This week the Committee set March 3rd as a date to hold a public hearing on SB 6 – AN ACT CONCERNING PERSONAL DATA PRIVACY AND ONLINE MONITORING.
- This bill attempts to tackle a very important issue on how retailers and other business deal with consumer data. Our position is that IF a consumer privacy issue is adopted on a state level ( we would rather Congress deal with it) then retailers’ ability to continue to offer things like loyalty programs, and being provided sufficient time to comply, are addressed as well.
- We are fully engaged on this issue and will continue to be throughout the process.
- The Aging Committee released a bill that makes changes to Connecticut’s Gift law – increasing the amount of cash that a customer can ask for on the unused gift card, from $3.00 to $5.00.
- We think CT’s gift card law continues to be one of the best in the country and there should not be any changes in the dollar amount. The Aging Committee has set aside March 8th for their next public hearing, and we anticipate the bill will be on its agenda.
- Both the House and the Senate are expected to convene for formal sessions next Wednesday.
- Final note on the committee process: all committees of the General Assembly operate on schedules with various deadlines to take action on bills – there are deadlines for raising bills, holding public hearings and for voting bills out. Most of the committees have already come upon their deadlines for raising bills, for instance, yesterday was the last time the Public Safety Committee would meet to raise bills. So the next few weeks will be focused on holding public hearings on these bills, followed by committees voting on what bills to report out of committee and onto further debate by either another committee or the full General Assembly.
- So, right now we are in the heart of the committee process and will be for another couple of weeks.
- You can go here to see for yourself the various deadlines that each committee is operating under. https://www.cga.ct.gov/lco/docs/2022%20Committee%20Deadlines.pdf
Lamont Administration dealing with controversy
- Lamont is expected to announce the departure of Melissa McCaw as the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management today. CT Mirror has the latest here.
- There is an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation into school construction in Connecticut. Hearst CT columnist Dan Haar highlights the latest questions being raised; his column can be seen here.
- House Republicans continue to call for a legislative inquiry into the role of a former state official in influencing which companies received contracts in school construction projects. CTNewsJunkie reports on their comments here.
- Two companies named in a federal grand jury subpoena investigating former state official Konstantinos Diamantis were the primary beneficiaries of millions of dollars’ worth of hazardous waste abatement work on state buildings since 2017, the CT Mirror reported this week. Their investigative analysis can be seen here.
Other news and notes from around the State Capitol
- Republicans retained the 71st House District seat in a special election Tuesday as recently retired UConn Waterbury administrator William Pizzuto defeated Democrat John Egan 1,430-511. Pizzuto will represent all of Middlebury and part of Waterbury in the state legislature. The Waterbury Republican-American has the story here.
- Voters in the state’s 5th House District (parts of Hartford and Windsor) will decide their representative on Tuesday in an election to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Brandon McGee, who resigned to take a position in Gov. Lamont’s re-election campaign.
- The Democratic candidate, Maryam Khan, is the first Muslim woman in state history to be endorsed by a major party to fill a seat in the House of Representatives. Charles Jackson has been cross-endorsed by the Republican and Independent parties, and Lawrence Jaggon is a petitioning candidate. The Journal Inquirer has the details here.
- With the state projecting a surplus of $1.5 billion in the current fiscal year, Gov. Lamont and some legislators have been pushing to avoid any tax increases during an election year.
- But the Finance Committee will hold a public hearing on creating a new statewide property tax on mansions with a market value of more than $1.8 million. The Courant’s Chris Keating has the story here.
- Yet another incumbent legislator has announced they will not seek re-election.
- Seven-term Republican State Rep. Terrie Wood of Darien is moving forward with a campaign for the office of Secretary of the State. The CT Examiner has the latest on her plans here.
News and notes from around the state
- Air Canada has announced its plans to restart nonstop flights between Bradley International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport on June 1, seen as a sign of Bradley’s continuing recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hearst CT Media reports the announcement here.
- Celebrating an expansive new space for training, networking and showcasing products, the Black Business Alliance (BBA) hosted the grand opening of its state headquarters inside the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford yesterday. New Haven BIZ reports on the new location here.
- Asset management firm Hudson Bay Capital plans to expand in Greenwich by hiring 40 additional employees, supported by a state grant of up to $1.31 million, company and state officials announced yesterday. The Stamford Advocate reports the news here.