Sen. Blumenthal Meets with CRMA
Governor makes major announcement on next phase of vaccine roll out
Key deadlines approaching at the State Capitol
Other news and notes from the General Assembly
Other COVID-19 news and notes from around the state
Important CRMA Survey

  • Connecticut U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal met this morning with CRMA retail business leaders (via Zoom) to discuss all things COVID and retail.
  • News 8 reports on the meeting, here.
  • We’re grateful for Sen. Blumenthal’s ongoing interest in hearing directly from retailers, and we look forward to continuing to work with him on behalf of Connecticut retail businesses.
  • More details on the discussion next week in Friday Facts.


Governor makes major announcement on next phase of vaccine roll out

  • In a much-anticipated announcement this week, Governor Lamon bucked the CDC and announced an age-based priority for the next round of vaccines.
  • At a Monday press conference, the Governor announced that beginning March 1st individuals age 55-plus and teachers would be eligible for the next round of vaccines.
  • While the strictly age-based approach sets aside the question of who would be included in the thorny issue of “essential worker,” and it will cover more that 600,000 residents in the state, it did not make all groups happy.
  • Among the groups left out of this round are the so-called front-line workers in the United Food and commercial workers union. The Hartford Courant has more on their concerns.
  • With his announcement, not only did the Governor go against the CDC recommendations, but he also surprised some of the members of his own advisory group. The CT Mirror reported this week.


Key deadlines approaching at the State Capitol and other news and notes from the General Assembly

  • As we turn the page in February and look towards March, some of the key committees of the General Assembly will have deadlines that will tell us a lot about what we might see during the remainder of the session.
  • We know the big committees – Finance, Appropriations and Judiciary – all have deadlines in April, but in March, the General Law Committee has a March 30th deadline, Insurance is March 25th, Labor is March 30th.
  • You can see all the deadlines for all committees by going here.
  • Next week, we expect the Insurance Committee will be holding a public hearing on a concept that will allow associations like CRMA to offer discounted Health Insurance plans to members. CRMA is a strong supporter of Association Health Care Plans (AHP).
  • AHP’s allow associations like CRMA to work with insurance carriers, similar to what big business and big labor groups are allowed to do, drive down costs. We feel strongly that our members should have the same chance to lower costs as those other groups.
  • We will keep you posted on that bill, should it move forward.
  • There will be a special election on Tuesday, March 2 to fill a vacant seat in the State Senate’s 27th District, in Stamford and Darien. Pat Billie Miller is the Democratic candidate and Joshua Esses is the Republican candidate.  More on the election from Patch, here.
  • The House overwhelming passed a bill designed to attract data centers to Connecticut by providing a long-term tax break. The bill, supported by Gov. Lamont, goes next to the Senate.  New Haven BIZ has the details here.
  • One issue we expect will begin getting lots of attention in the coming weeks is legalization of recreational marijuana.
  • Lamont has stepped up his advocacy for legalization of recreational marijuana, with legislation to be considered by the state legislature. New Haven Register has the latest here.
  • Sue Hatfield, an unsuccessful candidate for State Attorney General in 2018, was elected this week as State Republican Party Chair. CTNewsJunkie has the story here.


Important CRMA survey

  • As we move into the next phase of the legislative process, and with key Committees including the Finance Committee getting ramped up, CRMA needs your input.
  • We have put together a simple survey to get your feedback on matters such as taxes and heath care.
  • Please take just a few minutes and respond to this survey. It will allow us to better serve you.
  • You can go here to take the survey. Thank you!


COVID-19 news and other notes from around the State

  • As we mentioned above, more than 600,000 people in Connecticut will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines as of Monday, March 1. CT Post reports on how the state anticipates preparing for the large numbers, here.
  • 30,000 Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines are expected to arrive in CT next week, Gov. Lamont announced. The Torrington Register-Citizen has the story here.
  • Disability Rights Connecticut filed a federal civil rights complaint claiming the state’s age-based plan for COVID-19 vaccinations is discriminatory. The Hartford Courant has the story here.
  • CRMA member Walgreen’s has begun to sell at-home COVID-19 tests. CT Post has the details here.
  • Revisions to the federal Paycheck Protection Program loan program are aimed at helping small businesses in need of assistance due to COVID-19. New Haven BIZ reports the latest.
  • Connecticut unemployment claims climbed slightly as national numbers decreased last week. Connecticut Post has the numbers here.
  • The UConn School of Business is launching a three-year online MBA program this fall. Hartford Business Journal describes the university’s plans here.