State Legislature Heads Into The Homestretch: Scheduled Adjournment on May 7th

Date: April 30, 2014

Related Content: News State Connecticut

As the 2014
regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly enters into its final week,
the pace of action at the state Capitol has been slower than usual.  Last week, both the House and Senate were in
session a total of four days, and this week both the House and Senate will be
meeting in session in nearly every day, including the possibility of the
weekend, as is customary of the last weekend of session.  Despite this surge of session days, so far,
the pace of legislation has been slower than usual.  With only a week to go until the
Constitutionally mandated adjournment on May 7
th, so far
approximately only a dozen bills have passed both chambers. 
Notably, one of the first bills to clear both
chambers earlier in the session was
Governor’s Senate
Bill 32
,
which phases in yearly increases in the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour
by 2017.  Other notable legislation
clearing both
chambers
was
the final passage of the “UTC tax break bill” (
House Bill 5465) in the Senate
last week, which now heads to the Governor.
 

In other legislative
news was the release of lower than expected tax revenue numbers last week.  Disappointing tax revenue projections are not
helpful to the Governor’s plans for the previously announced budget surplus,
including the $55 per person rebate proposal. In light of this information, last
week lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had expressed their concerns about
the impact this will have on passing a budget before the end of session. Senate
Majority Leader Martin Looney conceded that the rebate program may need to be
scaled back, possibly by reducing the number of taxpayers receiving a check
rather than lowering the already modest amount of the rebate, while Senate
Minority Leader John McKinney called on the Governor to scrap the program
entirely.  And on Monday, the Governor
announced that they would indeed be doing away with their rebate proposal,
along with other plans for spending the initial projected budget surplus as
state revenues continue to lag.  With
this year being an election year, one can be certain that legislators will be
following the revenue numbers closely as they craft their budget adjustments
during the last days of session in an effort to avoid the need for a special
session. 
 

Also, last week
saw the election of the newest member of the legislature, Rep. Robyn Porter,
who was elected in a special election for the 94
th District (New
Haven, Hamden).
 

In other governmental
news, while the state’s health insurance exchange has drawn national attention
for its enrollment of nearly 210,000 individuals, disappointingly, however, was
their report that only 78 businesses took part in the Small Business Health
Options Program (SHOP), covering only 330 employees in total.  And in other health news, a battle continues
to play out over competing bills dealing with the issue of hospital conversions
(non-profit to profit, and vice versa) in Connecticut. 
 

Some other bill
updates from last week on matters of interest to the small business community are
as follows:

HB-5274, AAC Unemployed
Individuals and Discriminatory Hiring Practices – passed the House

 

SB-220, AAC the
Inclusion of the History of the Labor Movement & Free Market Capitalism in
Public Schools – passed the Senate

 

SB-232, AAC the
Manufacturing Reinvestment Account Program – passed the Senate

 

SB-258, AAC Bad Faith
Claims or Assertions of Patent Infringement – passed the Senate

Related Content: News | State | Connecticut

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