Omicron virus continues to impact CT
Senate R’s call for Sales tax reduction and other notes from State Capitol
News and notes from around the state
Please take our post-holiday season survey
- Welcome to our first edition of the 2022 weekly e-newsletter, Friday Facts.
- We appreciate you taking the time to read it and we welcome your feedback – and also want to extend our best wishes to all of our readers for a healthy and happy 2022.
Omicron virus hits CT
- As we all know, our state has not been spared by the COVID-19 virus and its variants, first the Delta and now the highly transmittable Omicron which has hit CT hard.
- Sadly, yesterday the state reported 121 deaths due to COVID, raising our total for this pandemic to over 9,000.
- Also, the other key metric used to determine how a state is being impacted by the virus, positivity rate, has jumped to an astonishing high exceeding 20% for five consecutive days during this week.
- The omicron variant has impacted all parts of the state, forcing a growing number of municipalities to return to mandated masks for indoor use.
- As we go to print this morning, here is a list of towns that have re-imposed masks mandates, according to media reports.
- While towns have taken upon themselves to impose mandates, no word from the Lamont administration on a statewide mask mandate for indoor use.
- We remain in constant contact with key members of the Administration and will keep you posted if we hear more.
- Meanwhile, the Hartford Courant continues to do a great job in covering the pandemic and you can go here to read the latest from them.
News and notes from around the State Capitol
- We were pleased to see that at least one caucus of the Legislature is thinking of ways that consumers can benefit from the improved CT economy. Hopefully as the legislative session begins in February there will be more discussion of relief for consumers.
- Senate Republicans at the State Capitol are calling for a temporary reduction in the state sales tax, with a proposal for the tax to be lowered from 6.35% to 5.99% starting Feb. 15 through the rest of 2022. The General Assembly convenes on Feb. 9. CTNewsJunkie has the story here.
- Hartford State Rep. Brandon McGee is expected to resign from the legislature this week to join Gov. Ned Lamont’s re-election campaign. CTNewsJunkie has the details here.
- There will be a special election on January 25 to fill a vacancy for state representative in the 144th Assembly District of the Connecticut House of Representatives, which consists of a portion of Stamford. It became vacant following the resignation of Caroline Simmons, now serving as Mayor of Stamford.
- State Sen. Will Haskell, the youngest member of the state legislature, has announced he will not seek re-election next November. He has decided to attend law school, in New York. He was first elected in 2018 to represent the 26th District, which includes Wilton, Redding, and Ridgefield, and parts of Westport, New Canaan, Bethel, and Weston. Good Morning Wilton has the details here.
- The race for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of the State is underway, with a handful of candidates reporting on the success of their fundraising efforts to date. New Haven Independent has the numbers here.
- And now the omicron virus has impacted the Capitol Complex.
- With the omicron virus spreading, officials have decided to close the State Capitol on Wednesdays and Fridays, due to staffing shortages among State Police. The Hartford Courant reports on the decision here.
News and notes from around the state
- Former Comptroller Kevin Lembo issued his final monthly financial and economic update on Dec. 31 with a projected General Fund surplus of $911.9 million for Fiscal Year 2022. Fairfield County Business Journal has the details here.
- Every year, the state of Connecticut sweeps up millions of dollars in uncashed checks, forgotten insurance policies and long-ignored investments with the promise of seeing those assets safely returned to their owners. An investigation by the CT Mirror reports that some of that money is not easily found by owners.
- Longtime Connecticut economist Don Klepper-Smith anticipates a good year for Connecticut’s economy in 2022, but also notes that challenges continue. He shares his expectations in a Hartford Business Journal column here.
- An effort by Hartford to fill empty storefronts by offering grants to retailers and restaurants is gaining some traction initially, as Hartford Business Journal reports here. The city is funding the program with $6 million from its American Rescue Plan Act allocation.
- Consumer outrage is running rampant, and retailers around the country are experiencing what has been described as a new level of meanness. The New York Times reports the latest on the growth of pandemic rage, here.
Important post-holiday survey
- Please take a minute to complete our post-holiday survey. The information gathered here will help us as we prepare for the upcoming legislative session and with inquiries from the media.