The Legislature adjourns the short session on time
Retailers look back on important issues
Coming soon, the CRN Podcast
News and notes from around the State Capitol
CRN Golf outing update
News and notes from around the state

  • On Wednesday of this week, near midnight, both the CT State Senate and State House adjourned the General Assembly’s short session for the year. 
  • The short session is always an intense sprint towards the finish line and this year was no different. There was the traditional push and pull between House and Senate members and between the majority Democrats and minority Republicans. 
  • That push and pull, combined with time crunches, forced many high-profile issues to be sidelined for the year, with a promise to be taken up in January when a new General Assembly will be sworn into office.
  • There are lots of wrap-ups of the session that we will highlight below, but a good one to start might be the one that Governor Lamont gave when he held an after-session press conference. 
  • You can go here to listen to that interview. 

 

Retailers fared well during this session 

  • For CRN, our look back at this short session results in a fairly positive grade. 
  • While we worked closely with Sen. Maroney on SB 2 AAC Artificial Intelligence, in the end, the Governor did not get behind the bill and no action was taken. 
  • We are disappointed that the General Assembly passed a paid sick leave bill, which they referred to as a paid time off bill, that will eventually require all sizes of business – even down to one employee – to provide paid time off. 
  • Senate Democrats threatened to offer an amendment that would have given the Attorney General expanded authority to investigate alleged price gauging by retailers, but they backed off and never offered that amendment. 
  • Siting a budget that was already in place and not wanting to reopen it, the General Assembly did not take any action on consumer taxes despite bulging reserve funds. But they also did not add any new taxes on business or consumers. 
  • We are also disappointed that the General Assembly did not fully debate a bill that would allow Associations like CRN to pool our members to offer group health insurance.  A breakdown in the Insurance Committee, combined with advocates opposing the bill, was too much to overcome. 
  • SB 3, AAC Junk Fees, which was a priority for Senate Democrats, but had many provisions that would have impacted members of CRN, died in the House on the final day. 
  • On balance, we fall back on the old saying that nobody is safe when the General Assembly is in session – and the fact that they are now done for the year is a good thing. 
  • Now, we turn our attention to the fall elections, and we’ll see where things stand after that. 

 

CRN Podcast – The Voice of Retail

  • CRN will be entering the world of podcasts when we launch our own podcast next week. 
  • We will be talking about all the issues that retailers are involved in, including legislative issues. 
  • But mostly we will be talking about everyday retail issues, and we also will be talking to retailers so they can share their stories and experiences.
  • The CRN Podcast – the Voice of Retail – will launch next week and we hope you will LIKE IT.

 

News and notes from the State Capitol

  • The last three days of the session are always a critical time as members who have been working on bills all session try to get those bills called for a vote before the gavel falls. 
  • It is also a time when the minority party, in this case, the House and Senate Republicans, hold a lot of sway due to the fact that any bill they really don’t like they can simply filibuster because they have time on their side. 
  • A good example of this is what Sen. Minority Leader Steve Harding (R-Brookfield) threatened he would do to two bills his caucus strongly opposed. 
  • One was HB 5004, AN ACT CONCERNING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CERTAIN CLIMATE CHANGE MEASURES, and the other was legislation that would allow the state to pay striking workers. 
  • He was successful in stopping HB 5004, but the striking workers bill passed. 
  • But Governor Lamont mentioned in his post-session press conference that he did not like that idea, and it appears he is going to veto it. 
  • You can go here to read what Mark Pazniokas of the CT Mirror wrote about that. 
  • Meanwhile, the CT Mirror also looks here at the reaction to no action being taken on HB 5004. 
  • The Great Chris Keating of the Hartford Courant took a good look at the end of the session and how many bills worked on all year simply did not make it to the final passage. 
  • You can go here to read that story.
  • Sue Haigh from the Associated Press also has a good look at the end of the short session. You can go here to read Sue’s story. 
  • As we had mentioned in previous FF, there was a budget showdown at the end of the session due to House and Senate Democrats using some leftover ARPA funds and saying they were not subject to the fiscal guardrails. 
  • Keith Phanuef of the CT Mirror, as usual, does a great job on that issue which caused a lot of tension with House Minority Leader and friend of CRN Vin Candelora  (R-North Branford) and House Speaker Matt Ritter (D ) Hartford. You can go here to read Keith’s story.
  • The end of the short session is also a time when many members decide they have had enough, and announce they will not be seeking re-election. 
  • One House member that we have done a lot of work with over the years is House Chair of the General Law Committee, Rep, Mike D’Agostino, (D-Hamden), who announced earlier this year that he will bow out. 
  • In a surprise announcement, State Senator Marylin Moore (D-Bridgeport) told her colleagues that she too would not be seeking reelection. You can go here to read more about Sen Moore. 

 

CRN Golf Outing information 

  • Mark your calendars for the annual CT Retail Network Golf Outing coming up on Tuesday,  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 University of Connecticut’s effort to create a dormitory for its downtown Hartford branch campus would include nearly $28 million in financial support from the Capital Region Development Authority and a private lender.  Details from Hartford Business Journal here
  • Babies ‘R’ Us, a retail chain specializing in baby products and gear for infants and young children, is set to return to Connecticut this year, with three new locations planned inside Kohl’s stores in Norwalk, Manchester, and Plainville.  HBJ has the details here
  • Military members and their families will soon be able to explore history at over a dozen museums across the Nutmeg State without paying for a ticket.  Details reported by Connecticut Post here
  • Discount grocer Aldi announced it will be reducing the prices on hundreds of items to help customers combat inflation.  WFSB reports that story here
  • A Watertown grocery store was double lucky this week when it sold two winning Connecticut Lottery tickets in one day.  The numbers here from WTNH News8.