Friday Facts

Friday Facts

Friday Facts - April 15, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016

In this week’s edition of Friday Facts, key updates for retailers:

  • Showdown over the state budget threatens business for the remainder of the legislative Session.
  • Join us! CRMA special virtual town hall meeting conference call.
  • Other news and notes from the State Capitol, with less than 3 weeks remaining in the Session.
  • CT Presidential Primary brings Donald Trump to Hartford tonight.

CRMA is YOUR Voice at the State Capitol, working full-time for your interests - we care ONLY about how legislative issues impact the retail industry.

Showdown over the state budget threatens business for the remainder of the legislative Session.  

  • This so-called short legislative session has had a huge cloud hanging over its head since the start of the session back in February.
  • That cloud is the continued budget crisis that faces Connecticut.
  • The state of the state budget has forced the General Assembly to divert time that usually spent on other issues to deal with both a short-term budget and a longer term considerably larger projected budget deficit.
  • We have talked about the budget deficit that the state faced for the current fiscal year and how, thru a bipartisan effort, the General Assembly closed that deficit.
  • But, as we have also mentioned, there remained a much larger budget deficit that the Malloy Administration and the General Assembly is staring down for fiscal year 2017 – 2018.
  • That budget deficit is close $928 million and there was growing anticipation on both sides on how to close that gap. The Malloy administration has repeatedly said that layoffs were on the table, and in fact the Governor has acted on those statements by beginning the layoff process in the past 2 weeks.
  • The Legislature’s Democratic majority’s Appropriations and Finance committees took action on a budget and revenue plan that fell short of closing the budget gap.
  • In response to that, while getting nowhere with his attempt to get state employee bargaining units to the table, this week Governor Malloy dropped on the desk of the Legislature, his own version of adjustments to the 2 year budget - and it did not go over well at all.
  • In fact, as outlined in this story by our friends at the Hartford Courant, Senate President Martin Looney and other key leaders have big problems with the budget that Malloy delivered on Wednesday.
  • That budget cut spending in number of areas, mostly to municipalities, in both direct town aid and in educational funding they receive.
  • The ongoing budget issues, including response to the Governor’s new budget, has slowed down considerably the business of the General Assembly. In fact, the House did not go into session on Thursday so that they could have an off-site caucus to talk about how to handle the budget crisis.
  • For his part, Governor Malloy is standing firm that the Legislature has to do its job and work with him to fix the budget gap before they adjourn for the year on May 4th.  In fact, he has said that if they don’t adopt a budget by then, he will call them back into a special session.
  • For CRMA of course we too want to see CT’s budget fixed and we too want long term fiscal stability for the state. We need to get CT moving again and the only way to do that is to make some real tough decisions about which programs and how much spending CT can afford.
  • We just have to make sure that the Legislature doesn’t look to the revenue side – specifically increases in the sales tax or business taxes or some new gimmick – to close the gap. The state has already tried that.

Join us on the CRMA virtual town hall conference call next week.

  • We want to extend an invitation to all readers of the weekly FF, to join us on Tuesday, April 19th at 11:00 AM for our virtual town hall conference call to talk about all the legislative issues that CRMA is facing this session. Dial in to 1-800-989-2842, passcode 5271044. 
  • As we head into the final two weeks of the session, we thought this would be a good time to bring everyone up to speed on all the major issues, as well as answer any questions that any member may have about what is happening at the State Capitol. Please join us for this important update, and to share your views.

Other news and notes from the State Capitol.

  • As we mentioned, a House session that was tentatively scheduled for Thursday was called off so that House Democrats could go off-site to figure out what to do next. There was no Senate session schedule for Thursday this week.
  • Both the House and the Senate are off today.
  • Wednesday was Husky Day at the Capitol, with all both the men’s and women’s basketball teams there – no Geno; he called out sick – as well as the football team.
  • Husky Day is one of the most popular days of the session - and it also means that not a lot of business gets done that day.
  • This year, in fact, the UConn coaches that were present made fun of the difficult challenges that CT legislature faces in grappling with the current budget crisis. You can go here to take a look at that story.

Presidential Primaries Brings Candidates to CT

  • Republican front-runner Donald Trump will be speaking at the Connecticut Convention Center tonight (April 15).  John Kasich spoke last week at Fairfield University. 
  • The Connecticut presidential primaries, for registered Democrats and Republicans, are on Tuesday, April 26.
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