Labor Committee finishes work by acting on a number of bills CRN opposes
Insurance Committee fails to meet. News and notes from the State Capitol
CRN Legislative Reception and Golf Outing
News and notes from around the state

  • This week the General Assembly’s Labor Committee held their last two meetings of the session and in the process reported out a number of bills that CRN had opposed. 
  • First, on Tuesday of this week, the Committee gave a favorable report to SB 413 AN ACT CONCERNING PREDICTABLE SCHEDULING.
  • This is a bill that CRN has long opposed as unnecessary and restrictive by forcing new regulations on HOW retailers set schedules for their employees.  We will continue to oppose this bill. 
  • Yesterday, the Labor Committee acted on three bills that we oppose. 
  • First, they acted on SB 7 AAC Paid Sick Leave. They offered substitute language that amends the bill by allowing a phase in on the number of employees before an employer must comply. But the phase in eventually will sweep in small employers including employers who only have 1 employee. 
  • Next on the agenda for the Labor Committee yesterday was SB 412 AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF WAREHOUSE WORKERS IN THE STATE. This bill would place a heavy burden on any retailer or business that has a warehouse or distribution center in the state. 
  • The Labor Committee then took aim on the rideshare industry by passing HB 5470 AN ACT CONCERNING RIDESHARE AND DELIVERY DRIVER MINIMUM STANDARDS.
  • Finally, the Labor Committee voted out a bill that would require that any employer that seeks to make any changes in any policy give employees 12 months – 1 year – notice before those changes can go into effect. 
  • We will continue to keep a close eye on that bill, HB 5468 AN ACT CONCERNING TIME TO PLAN FOR SEPARATION FROM EMPLOYMENT.
  • We will continue to work on these Labor Committee bills and keep you updated on their progress. 

 

Insurance Committee fails to meet

  • There was some drama in the Insurance Committee this week due to conflicts between House and Senate members over a number of bills. Because those conflicts could not be resolved, the Committee canceled meetings they had scheduled for both Tuesday and Thursday of this week. 
  • This type of breakdown is almost unprecedented, as typically House and Senate Chairs can set aside some differences in order to move some bills. That did not happen and as a result one of the bills that CRN had advocated for, HB 5247 AAC Employee Health Benefit Consortiums, did NOT advance out of the committee. 
  • While are very disappointed that the committee didn’t act on the Health Benefit bill, our sense is that this is not the end of the issue. There is a good chance it could re-emerge via an amendment on another bill or part of a budget bill. 
  • Details on the Insurance Committee’s week from CT Mirror here and CT Post here.  

 

Other News and notes from the State Capitol

  • The House will be in formal session on Monday, March 25th but is not planning to come back into formal session until April 16th.  In a short session, that is a pretty big gap not to be in session to take up bills.  The session ends on May 8.
  • The Department of Justice and 16 states, including Connecticut, filed an antitrust lawsuit against smartphone giant Apple on Thursday, accusing the company of abusing its monopoly power to stifle competition.  Details reported here by Hartford Business Journal. 
  • Dozens of film and production industry workers and leaders converged on the Legislative Office Building Wednesday to voice their opposition to a bill that would eliminate Connecticut’s film production tax credit.  Hartford Business Journal reports on the issue here
  • A proposal to strengthen business connections between Connecticut and Ireland made progress on Thursday, as the General Assembly’s Commerce Committee passed a bill that would establish a commission for trade.  CT Insider reports on the committee action here.  
  • A bill that would require car dealerships to include conveyance fees in the advertised prices of the vehicles they sell was voted out of the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee on Wednesday.  That action is reported by the Stamford Advocate here.
  • Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds returned a net 12.8% for the calendar year 2023. The returns data were presented by Treasurer Erick Russell on this week during a meeting of Connecticut’s Investment Advisory Council.  Details reported by Pensions & Investments here.

 

CRN Legislative Reception, Golf Outing Approaching

  • Please mark your calendar for May 1st as CRN will be hosting a Legislative Reception at the State Capitol from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. 
  • Our Legislative Reception will allow retailers to gather with members and staff of the General Assembly in a casual setting and provide an opportunity for us to talk about key issues pending before the General Assembly. 
  • It is free to attend, and we really hope you can join us. 
  • If you have any questions about the event, please feel free to email CRN President Tim Phelan at tim@ctretailnetwork.com
  • Also mark your calendars for the annual CT Retail Network Golf Outing on June 25.
  • We have a new location this year – the Farms Country Club in Wallingford.  We look forward to seeing you there for a day of fun and camaraderie.
  • Details are now on the CRN website – look for the invitation letter and the new brochure at www.ctretailnetwork.com for additional details and sponsorship information.

 

News and notes from around the state

  • The unemployment rate in Connecticut has increased to 4.5%, according to the state Department of Labor.  The February 2023 “Labor Situation Report” also show that employers added 900 jobs last month.  Details reported by the Hartford Courant here.
  • The planned $100 million overhaul and modernization of Hartford’s 15,500-seat XL Center sports and entertainment arena is in jeopardy after contractors returned bids tallying roughly $140 million.  Details reported here by Hartford Business Journal. 
  • According to a Wallethub study, Connecticut ranks 47 out of all 50 states for growth in overall mortgage debt in the third and fourth quarters of 2023. Fairfield County Business Journal has the numbers here.
  • Avelo Airlines announced Wednesday it is adding three new non-stop flight destinations from Tweed New Haven Airport beginning g in June – flights to Houston, St. Louis, and Traverse City, Michigan.  WTNH News8 has that story here
  • There’s a business boom in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood, as A business boom is taking place in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood, as a dozen new businesses have opened or will be opening on Park Street.  WFSB Eyewitness News has that story here.
  • A nationwide network outage disrupted services Thursday at the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles and several similar agencies in other states, according to officials.  The CT Post reports on the outage here