Public hearing on data privacy
Other bills impacting retail being reviewed by committees
Other news and notes from the State Capitol
News and notes from around the state
CRMA news and notes
- On Thursday of this week the General Law Committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 6, An Act Concerning Personal Data Privacy and Online Monitoring. You can review the bill yourself by going here.
- CRMA is concerned about this bill, not because we want to limit consumers’ ability to opt out of receiving information or because we “sell” data. We are concerned because this bill will impact retailers’ ability to continue to offer services to our customers that they want and currently enjoy.
- Specifically, we are concerned that the bill, as drafted, would make it harder for any size retailer to continue to offer loyalty cards to customers, due to new restrictions that are imposed in the bill.
- As we all know, retailers’ relationships with customers in the MOST important part of business and there is no better example of that relationship than when a customer voluntarily enters a loyalty program with a retailer.
- The language in the bill upsets that relationship and in our testimony, we let members of the General Law Committee know that.
- There are other equally important components in the proposed legislation that we also urged the committee to fix.
- One is the effective date – when retailers would have to comply with the bill – which is now just a year or so from when the bill passes. We think that is not enough time and are asking for a 2-year time frame.
- The last big issue that impacts many retailers is the number of interactions you have with customers each year before the bill requires that you come into compliance. We believe that number should be 100,000 per year, while the language of the bill puts that number at 65,000.
- We are going to continue to be engaged with members of the Committee and the full General Assembly on these issues. Look for more information from us on how you can get engaged as well.
Other bills impacting retailers that we are following as they move along in the process
- The General Law Committee held a public hearing on a proposed bill regarding gender-based differential pricing on Tuesday that we are watching closely.
- Also, the Environment Committee is meeting today and has two bills on their agenda that we are following: HB 5139, An Act Concerning Extended Responsibility for Certain Gas Cylinders and HB 5139, An Act Concerning Extended Producer Responsibility for Tires.
- Both bills are expected to be amended, so we will send you updated versions of the bills when the committee finishes action on them today.
- The Finance Committee held a public hearing on Proposed Senate Bill 22, An Act Temporarily Reducing the Rates of the Sales and Use Taxes and the Meals Tax.
- We support this bill and filed written testimony in favor of the bill. You can view that by going here.
- Given the impact the pandemic has had on our business and consumers, as well as the enormous surplus that the state is currently enjoying…
- …we strongly believe that the Legislature MUST consider giving consumers and retailers some relief this session. A good, fair and easy way for them to do that is to lower the sales tax. And we will keep making that case whenever we can.
Other news and notes from the State Capitol
- Connecticut is divesting Russian-owned assets from its retirement plans and trust funds following Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, state Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden announced this week. The Hartford Courant has the news here.
- Maryam Khan of Windsor won a special election to the 5th House District of Windsor and Hartford on Tuesday, becoming the first Muslim elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives. Unofficial results showed Khan, a Democrat, winning nearly 75% of the votes in a three-way race. CT Mirror reports the story here.
- For the first time since the Connecticut Capitol closed due to COVID-19 in March 2020, masks were optional when the House of Representatives met in session Wednesday to vote on judicial nominations. CT Mirror has the policy change news here.
- The governor’s administration expects external auditors to complete an investigation into the state’s school construction program by the end of April, acting Administrative Services Commissioner Michelle Gilman said during a Tuesday confirmation hearing. CTNewsJunkie reports on the hearing here.
- About two months after being sworn into the General Assembly, state Rep. Trenee McGee of West Haven announced her immediate resignation from West Haven’s City Council this week. The New Haven Register has news of her decision here.
- Democratic lawmakers want to make one of the largest tax cuts for low-to-moderate income, working families permanent, but not everyone in their party is on board, including Gov. Ned Lamont. CTNewsJunkie’s Christine Stuart reports here on the tax cut debate at the Capitol.
- Comptroller Natalie Braswell is raising concerns that rising home prices and rental costs in Connecticut are creating a new level of financial stress on the state’s residents. Fairfield County Business Journal reports on her comments here.
- Manisha Juthani was confirmed by the state House of Representatives as Commissioner of Public Health. An epidemiologist recruited from the Yale School of Medicine during the pandemic by Gov. Lamont, she has been serving as interim Commissioner since last July. CT Mirror reports on the debate by the House here.
- State Rep. Harry Arora of Greenwich is considering a run for the Republican nomination for State Treasurer. He’s formed an exploratory committee, as CT Examiner reports here.
News and Notes from around the state
- Wegmans, the upscale grocery store chain based in upstate New York, announced this week that it plans to open its first Connecticut store in Norwalk, near Interstate 95. The CT Post has the details here.
- René Jones, CEO of M&T Bank, which is in the process of acquiring Bridgeport-based People’s United, told shareholders this week that the combined bank can be a force for revitalization in the Northeast. People’s United’s Bridgeport headquarters would become a regional office for a merged M&T. Hartford Business Journal has the details here.
- Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. won a $99 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to support the Presidential Helicopter Program, with much of the work to be done in New York. New Haven BIZ has the details here.
- Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family will pay $6 billion in a nationwide settlement for the OxyContin maker’s role in the opioid epidemic, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced Thursday. The Hartford Courant reports on the agreement here.
CRMA member news and notes
- At CRMA we understand that credit card fees are a necessary and misunderstood cost of doing business. It’s misunderstood by design by some processors to make it difficult for you to compare competitive rates.
- We believe we have identified a company that brings transparency to this process.
- Moca Payments has eliminated many of the added fees, to give you a straightforward cost comparison that’s very easy to understand.
- Here is the link to a brief survey to start the process. Or, if you prefer, we can have someone from Moca Payments contact you directly.
- If they would save you money, they would love your business. If they can’t, you will have validated that your current fees are highly competitive.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: CRMA ANNUAL GOLF OUTING JUNE 28
- Spring will soon be upon us, so we want you to start thinking about one of our favorite events of the year – our Annual Golf Outing.
- This year’s event will be held on Tuesday, June 28th at Wampanoag Country Club in West Hartford, CT.
- Look for more information about the event in the upcoming week.