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State News:
The short session is plagued by a $240 million dollar budget deficit that will consume most of the rhetoric until the General Assembly adjourns in May. Currently the Senate is tied 18-18, and Democrats hold the majority by only 5 seats in the House of Representatives. The Governor is a “lame duck” with the most dismal approval rating he has ever seen with residents and members of the General Assembly. Legislators are trying to figure out how to distance themselves from Malloy and win in November. There are currently 25 candidates vying for Governorship as well as many candidates for the other Constitutional offices that are also up for election. With the impending election on everyone’s mind, partisan politics and maneuvering is at its ultimate height. The Labor Committee has become a hot bed and the committee has even had trouble raising bills on subjects which are usually not debated. Because of this, we are seeing labor bills pop up in other committees.
The Governor presented a budget adjustment plan that sliced services and proposed new tax increases such as tolls, cigarette tax, and bottle deposit fees. Many are skeptical of his plan and doubt that it will be entertained.
Issues Update:
Paid Family and Medical Leave
The bill has resurfaced and dramatically expands existing laws to apply to even the smallest businesses. Employees would be able to deduct a certain portion of their pay, to be invested by the State, and paid out while on leave. In addition, it requires small businesses to continue to provide expensive non-wage benefits to an employee that is absent for up to 3 months each year.
Paid Sick Leave
This issue has come up again and expands the paid sick requirement to all businesses with 20 or more employees and unpaid sick leave to all businesses with less than 20 employees. The current law only applies to businesses with 50 employees or more.
Sexual Harassment
In light of all the sexual harassment issues across the nation, the House and Senate Democrats proposed requiring businesses with 3 or more employees to provide harassment training every 5 years. Estimates show this could cost employers in excess of $130 million dollars every five years. Currently training is only mandated for supervisors at businesses with 50 or more employees.
Several other familiar bill concepts have been raised, but language has not be released. They include Minimum Wage increase, Predictive Scheduling, and Low Wage Worker.
Register today for LDAC’s annual legislative reception on Wednesday, April 18 at 5 p.m. the State House in Hartford, Conn. We are expecting more than 100 legislators in attendance and need your support! The event is free, but registration is required. If you are interested in attending, please contact Ashley Ranslow.
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Did You Know?
The lumber and building materials industry employs more than 36,000 people in Conn. Questions?
Please contact Ashley Ranslow, Manager of Government Affairs
at 800-292-6752 or