General Assembly Committee’s public hearing phase
CRN testifies before Insurance and General Law Committees
News and notes from around the State Capitol
Date set for CRN Legislative Reception
News and notes from around the state

  • The Connecticut General Assembly continues to grind along towards adjournment day May 7, 2024, and this week it seemed that every committee was holding public hearings on bills that were before committees. 
  • Public Hearings are a critical part of the legislative process and for organizations like the CRN it is an opportunity to present our views in front of key stakeholders. 
  • This week, 12 of the General Assembly’s committees held public hearings on numerous bills, with three committees – General Law, Public Health and Public Safety – each holding two public hearings this week. 
  • This pace, while hectic for sure, is common for a short session and will soon lead to the Committees taking the next step in the process, which is deciding which bills deserve a full vote by the committees. 
  • We will do our best to keep up with the frantic pace that is the short session, and keep you posted along the way. 

 

CRN testifies before Insurance and General Law Committees

  • CRN was busy this week testifying before two committees on important bills that will impact retailers. 
  • On Tuesday, we testified before the Insurance Committee on a very important bill that we think can help our independent in-state members with group health insurance. 
  • The bill, HB 5247 AAC Health Benefit Consortiums, is designed to allow groups like CRN to pool members together in order to negotiate directly with insurance carriers for lower rates, the same way that large business and big unions do. We are very hopeful that this year this bill will pass through both chambers and get signed into law by Governor Lamont. 
  • You can view our testimony on the bill by going here
  • On Thursday, the General Law Committee held a public hearing on several bills that would impact the retail industry. 
  • Two bills have provisions that will impact some of our members who work directly with customers on food delivery services.
  • Both SB 3 and SB 201 impose new restrictions on those companies. We opposed those provisions and filed testimony for General Law Committee members to consider. You can view that testimony by going here
  • We also spoke to the General Law Committee regarding SB 2 AN ACT CONCERNING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, a major initiative that State Senator James Maroney (D) Milford has undertaken. 
  • AI regulation is an emerging issue which we have yet to fully determine the best way to regulate, so we are proceeding with caution on making any comments until we have fully vetted the bill. 
  • However, we did testify as to why the bill is important to retailers. You can read our statement by going here
  • CT Mirror’s Luke Feeney has a deeper look here at Maroney’s  AI initiative. 

 

News and notes from around the State Capitol

  • Last week we told you that the Environment Committee raised a concept regarding an Extended Producer Responsibility for carpets. 
  • This week the bill was released, and it calls for the DEEP to study the issue and report back to the Environment Committee by January of 2025. You can view the bill here
  • The Labor Committee is holding a public hearing next week and one of the bills would study paid sick leave. We don’t think that bill will advance. Here is the Labor Committee’ full agenda. 
  • The Planning and Development Committee is considering a bill to encourage more development near public transit hubs.  CT Mirror reports on their discussions here
  • The legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee advanced two bills this week that would expand what fireworks are legal for sale and use in Connecticut.  Details here from CT Mirror.  
  • A Connecticut lawmaker is proposing that the state government spend as much as $5 million dollars on advertising in local news outlets to help bolster the faltering media industry.  Details reported here by CT Examiner. 
  • Advocates discussed gathering better data and sharing it between a variety of organizations that haven’t traditionally shared information during a public hearing on a bill to address the 119,000 “disconnected youth” in CT.  CTNewsJunkie has the details of that issue here.  
  • A proposal to ban legacy admissions at Connecticut’s public and private colleges has support from at least some lawmakers in both major parties, but the colleges are not convinced, the legislature learned this week.  CT Post has that story here.

 

CRN Legislative Reception

  • We are pleased to tell you that plans are in place for the CRN Legislative Reception that will take place at the State Capitol. 
  • We have secured May 1, 2024 as the date for this important event. We hope you will make every effort to join us. 
  • Legislative Receptions are a great way for members to interact with Legislators in a casual setting to talk about the issues that are pending before the General Assembly. 
  • Please hold that date on your calendar because it will be a great event and, as we told you earlier this year, this event WILL BE THE PLACE TO BE!!
  • We also welcome sponsors for the event. Here is more information about sponsorship opportunities that are available. 

 

News and notes from around the state

  • It seems the 4th time is a charm for Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, who won again this week and this time should settle matters for at least 2 more years. 
  • Only in Bridgeport has a look at the numbers and how Ganim won. You can see that by going here.  
  • Sixteen of the town’s top 20 wage earners in 2023 were police officers, a ratio that’s common in the state’s municipalities.  Details reported by the Hartford Courant here.  
  • State Police are on a mission to reduce traffic fatalities with a yearlong enforcement plan targeting highways, streets and rural roads.  NBC CT has the details here.