Governor announces new COVID-19 Restrictions
House and Senate members pick new leaders
Register today for our annual gathering
Other news and notes from around the state

  • As we go to print with this week’s FF, we have two big stories to share.
  • We have chosen to lead with some new information regarding some decisions the Governor has made regarding COVID-19.
  • We will keep you updated if there are continued changes with regard to COVID-19, as we know that this is a tremendously important issue for members.


COVID-19 Update

  • Connecticut has rolled back on reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic and moved from Phase 3 to Phase 2.1, effective today. NBC Connecticut reports the story here.
  • Half of Connecticut residents live in the 68 communities now under a COVID-19 “red-alert” advisory, and Gov. Ned Lamont announced that, effective today, all private indoor and outdoor gatherings must be capped at 10 people.
  • The state Department of Public Health has recommended all residents limit travel outside the home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The Hartford Courant reports the story here.
  • Connecticut’s coronavirus positivity rate dipped slightly on Thursday, to 3.7%, down from 4.2% on Wednesday. The total number of COVID positives statewide reached 77,060. 11 deaths were reported yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 4,656.  CT Mirror has more here.
  • Youth sports and high school sports that are considered to be a high risk for transmitting the coronavirus will not be allowed to play games in Connecticut for the rest of the calendar year, according to state officials. New Haven Register has that news here.


A look at the State House races

  • As we noted in a special FF earlier this week, Democrats maintained and in fact expanded their majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.
  • There are 151 members of the CT General Assembly and all of them were up for re-election this fall. Heading into the election there were a number of members – including three caucus leaders – who chose NOT to seek reelection, resulting in many new candidates facing off.
  • In what was no real surprise, House D’s picked up 7 seats to now hold a 98-53 lead.
  • Due to the expanded number of absentee ballots because of COVID, a number races that looked close on election day ended up not being close at all.
  • In fact, our review of the election shows there were no contested elections and no recounts.
  • Yesterday, House D’s by acclamation chose Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) as their new Speaker. The House Democrats also chose by acclamation, Rep. Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford) as their new Majority Leader. Rojas was the former House Co-Chair of the Finance Committee and 2019 CRMA Legislator of the Year.
  • Speaker-elect Ritter will our guest at our upcoming annual meeting on Nov. 19 to talk about what we can expect in the upcoming session.
  • On the House Republican side, they too held a caucus yesterday to elect new leaders and we are pleased to report that the 2018 CRMA Legislator of the Year, Vin Candelora (R-North Branford) has been selected by his caucus to be their leader.
  • Candelora is a great friend and supporter of the Retail industry and we look forward to continuing our good working relationship with him.


Senate D’s pick up 2 seats

  • On the Senate side of the ledger, Senate Democrats built on their majority by adding 2 additional seats to their caucus.
  • The Senate D’s knocked off two Republican incumbents to add to their caucus lead and take it to a 24-12 advantage.
  • The two Senate districts that flipped from R to D were the 6th District, where Rep. Rick Lopes defeated first term Sen. Gennaro Bizzarro, and the 17th District where Jorge Cabrera defeated incumbent Sen. George Logan.
  • There was one tight race in the State Senate, but it appears that Sen. Alex Kasser of Greenwich has fended off her challenger to keep her seat, by a margin of just under 1,500 votes.
  • Senate Democrats have already decided their leaders as well. Martin Looney (D-New Haven) will remain Senate President Pro Tempore and Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) will return as the Senate Majority Leader.
  • Meanwhile, yesterday, the Senate Republicans chose Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) as their new leader. Kelly was in a race with Sen. Kevin Witkos for the position of Senate Minority Leader. Witkos, who had been in a tight race for his Senate seat, was re-elected on Election Day.
  • Kelly will also be our guest at our virtual meeting on November 19th. We are looking forward to working with Sen. Kelly and his caucus over the next two years.


News and notes

  • Eversource Energy is asking state regulators to approve a rate increase. The Hartford Courant has the details here.
  • In what is described as a first for the gaming industry, Foxwoods Resort Casino is setting aside one of its floors exclusively for gamblers ages 55 and older. Fairfield County Business Journal reports that story here.
  • Lamont said this week he does not plan on proposing the return of highway tolls during the 2021 legislative session. Fairfield County Business Journal has that news here.
  • The top executive of Hartford health insurer Aetna has been named the new CEO of parent company CVS Health Corp. Karen Lynch will lead the company as of Feb. 1, Hartford Business Journal reports here.