Committee process grinds along
CRN testifies before the Finance and Environment Committees
News and notes from the State Capitol
CRN is the Place to Be in 2024
News and notes from around the state

  • This week at the General Assembly was another one filled with various committees holding public hearings. 
  • The public hearing process can include some long days, with a lot of patience needed as some committees have 20 or more bills that they are holding hearings on during the same day. 
  • It is not uncommon for Public Hearings to last well into the evening, as will be the case today in the Environment Committee. 
  • The Public Hearing process – however tedious it may be – is a critical part of the process. 
  • This week the CRN was busy testifying before two key committees.
  • On Wednesday, we testified before the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee in favor of a bill that would allow for an exemption up to $100 for children’s clothing. 
  • This proposal was introduced by the House Republican caucus. 
  • You can read our testimony here
  • On Friday, as we go to print, we will be testifying before the Environment Committee on a bill that seeks to require balloon manufacturers to create biodegradable balloons. 
  • The technology for biodegradable balloons is not fully developed yet, so we oppose that bill and were joined in our testimony by a number of small retailers that sell balloons. 
  • You can go here to read our testimony. 


Other news and notes from the State Capitol

  • The Public Hearing process continues next week. 
  • On Tuesday, the Labor Committee is holding a hearing on a number of bills that we are following, including once again a bill that would force retailers to change the way they schedule employees. 
  • We will be testifying against that bill. 
  • You can see the full Labor Committee agenda by going here
  • Also on Tuesday, the General Law Committee will be holding its last committee meeting of the year and are certain to take up SB 2 An Act Concerning Artificial Intelligence. We will be there and will update you in next week’s FF. 
  • How much should the state aid businesses seeking to grow in Connecticut?  The answer has been elusive, and changing through the years.  Hearst Connecticut Media explores state efforts in recent years, and the impact. 
  • The state legislature’s General Law Committee has sent a plethora of bills to the House and Senate floors, notably two proposals that would impact Connecticut’s beer and cannabis industries.  Details here from Hartford Business Journal.
  • Young people in Connecticut told lawmakers during a public hearing this week that they want to stay in the state, but can’t afford to rent a place to live.  CT Mirror reports here on a bill being considered by the Planning & Development Committee.
  • Lawmakers are considering a bill that would re-establish the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee (PRI), a bipartisan committee that conducted deep-dive investigations into the effectiveness of public policy and programs, after the 44-year-old committee was eliminated as part of the 2016 budget crunch.  Details reported by Connecticut Inside Investigator here.


CRN is the Place to Be in 2024

  • Mark your calendars for the CT Retail Network Legislative Reception on Wednesday, May 1st at 5:00 at the State Capitol.
  • It is a great opportunity to talk with legislators in an informal setting, with just a week remaining in the legislative session and final decisions on numerous legislative proposals yet to be made.
  • The Legislative Reception is one of three major events this year for the CT Retail Network, making CRN the Place to Be in 2024. Check out this flyer for details on all three.  We hope to see you there!


News and notes from around the state

  • As retail chains have expanded across Connecticut over the years, there has been a tendency for rivals in different sectors to locate near each other — often just blocks away and sometimes even across the street.  Hearst Connecticut Media explores why, here
  • Connecticut voters are about to experience a historic shift in election administration as early voting makes its debut later this month prior to the April 2 Presidential Preference Primary. CTNewsJunkie’s Christine Stuart has the details here.
  • Representatives from the American Association of Retired Persons have filed a petition – signed by more than 2,700 Connecticut residents – with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority in opposition to rate increases proposed by Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas Company.  Details here from CTNewsJunkie.
  • Connecticut is the second most-educated state in the nation, according to a study from the educational platform Teach Simple, which provides access to teaching resources.  According to the study, Connecticut has the second-highest percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in post-secondary institutions, at 49.6%.  More from Hartford Business Journal here.
  • Connecticut’s first drive-thru marijuana dispensary is now open, in Middletown.  Details reported by WTNH News 8 here.
  • Four executives who oversaw the now closed trash-to-energy plant in Hartford received three times the maximum severance pay and health benefits they were supposed to, according to a new state audit.  NBC CT has that news here.
  • Tracey Magnet School in Norwalk has been named a “State School of Character” by global nonprofit ethics advocates It is the only Connecticut school to be designated as such, and is being considered for elevation to “National School of Character.”  Details here from Nancy on Norwalk.
  • Connecticut consumers lost about $70 million to scammers last year, more than ever before, state and federal officials said this week.  The Stamford Advocate has the numbers here.  The total number of complaints last year was 19,276, and the average consumer reported losing $500.
  • Seismologists with the U.S. Geological Survey recorded an earthquake in Connecticut this week – in East Hampton.  Details reported here on Patch.