The latest news from the State Capitol for Connecticut retailers:
- Budget uncertainty as the Session nears adjournment.
- BREAKING NEWS: CRMA stops fee increase – for now.
- More news and updates from the State Capitol.
- Presidential primary review.
Budget uncertainty as the Session nears adjournment.
- As the General Assembly moves closer to its constitutionally mandated adjournment date of May 4th, the state of the state’s finances remain unresolved and threaten to force the Legislature back into special session.
- As we go to print on this week’s FF (which due to the late night sessions this week, arrives in your mailbox on Saturday) the Democratic Majority in both chambers have yet to reach an agreement with Democratic Governor Dan Malloy on how to close the growing current and out-year budget deficits.
- Meanwhile, House and Senate Republicans remain on the sidelines, waiting for their chance to weigh in.
- What is at stake here is how to close a current year budget gap that actually has grown (as the CT Mirror explains here) as well as how to close a larger deficit in the so-called out years of 2018-2019.
- Democrats in the House and Senate finally offered the details of their budget to the press and public this week, and to Governor. As confident as they may be in this budget, they have said WILL NOT force their members to vote on it until they have met with the governor.
- But the governor doesn’t seem too impressed with this budget and also is not to confident that a deal will be struck by midnight Wednesday. As the CT Mirror reports here, Malloy says the budget talks have hit the wall.
- We know that things can change quickly in this business so there remains hope that something gets done by midnight Wednesday – no legislator in an election year wants to spend their summer at the State Capitol fighting over a state budget – but right now things don’t look good for getting a deal done.
CRMA scores victory in Dem’s budget proposal
- We are happy to report this week that when the Democratic Majority released their budget on Thursday they eliminated a proposed increase in the sales tax permit fee that would have cost all of our members.
- CRMA strongly lobbied members of the Finance Committee and other members of the House and Senate Caucus, and was successful in stopping that fee increase – for now. (There’s an old saying - nobody can rest until the legislature is done for the year.)
- Because of the uncertainty of the state budget – the current year deficit has now grown to $256 million – there is always the chance the Legislature can come back to the sales tax permit issue, but all parties involved in these discussion – the Democrats, Republicans and the Governor – have all said they do not want ANY increases in taxes or fees.
- We will continue to keep a close eye on this.
More news and updates from the State Capitol.
- Late last night the House passed an amendment to the Gift Card law, allowing for cash back for an unredeemed gift card with less than $3 remaining on the card. Language also requires proof of purchase. Here’s a link to that amendment: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/FC/pdf/2016HB-05564-R000297-FC.pdf.
- The State Senate started debating a bill that would increase the minimum wage to $12 over time, beginning in 2018 and ending in 2012. The amendment would have increased the minimum wage in steps; going form 10.10 in 2017 to $10.70 in 2018, $11.30 in 2019 and $12.00 in 2020.
- Republican lawmakers in the State Senate objected and launched a filibuster forcing the sponsors of the amendment to withdraw the bill.
- Congratulations to our friends in the car business who were successful in defeating a bill that would have allowed car maker Tesla to circumvent current law and sells cars without going thru the same basic rules that other car dealers are required to follow.
- We also know how they won this issue – by using the same great lobbyist that CRMA’s does – Jane Murphy of Murtha Cullina Government affairs, www.govtaffairsgroup.com
- Senate Majority leader Bob Duff, a supporter of the Tesla bill, decided last night that he would withdraw the bill from consideration. You can go here for more about Duff’s decision to pull the plug on the bill.
- We are hoping that SB 211 An Act Allowing Employers to Pay Wages Using Payroll Cards, will be considered in the House before Wednesday midnight. It has already passed the Senate and has bi-partisan support.
- Still no action in the House on SB 226 An Act Concerning Single use Cary out Bags and SB 233 An Act Concerning a Reduction of Consumer–Based Packaging Materials.
- This time of the year there are always cat-and-mouse games between the House and the Senate. House bills don’t get called in the Senate until Senate bill get called in the House and visa versa.
- Looks like that tradition is carrying on this year as well.
Presidential primary review…
- The presidential candidates have moved on from Connecticut. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton prevailed in the primary voting on Tuesday, after a busy week of campaigning that brought candidates Clinton, Sanders, Trump and Kasich to our state - repeatedly.
- CT Mirror highlights the result with a town-by-town recap of the voting in both primaries here and an historical analysis of the Democratic voting here.