After Quick Start, Legislative Session Halts in Response to Covid-19
While the 2020 legislative session of the Connecticut General Assembly was scheduled as the biennial “short” session, no one could have expected it to be this short. After meeting in session for a little over a month, legislative business abruptly halted on March 11th, following the Declarations of Civil Preparedness and Public Health Emergencies by Governor Lamont on March 10th. What was originally scheduled to be a 2-day shutdown of legislative business (with the Capitol and Legislative Office building closed to undergo a deep cleaning), quickly turned into a 2-week closure and suspension of business, which was subsequently extended an additional two weeks. Officially, at this point the Capitol and Legislative Office Building remain closed and the legislative session suspended through April 12, but it is highly likely that closure and suspension will be once again extended, lasting well beyond April 12th and possibly up to and through the Constitutionally mandated adjournment date for the legislature of May 6th.
In the meantime, as all attention has turned to the state (and federal) government responses to the Covid-19 virus, state legislators have quickly shifted from their lawmaking roles to a barrage of constituent service work, answering questions, and disseminating the latest information. While there are a myriad of new state and federal programs, rules, guidelines and orders, and with things continuing to change on a near daily basis, in addition to your state legislators, please turn to CHCC for the latest information and help navigating available resources.
Despite Legislative Shutdown, Apprentice Hiring Ratio Issue Work Continues Behind The Scenes
In early March the open shop members of the Ratio Working Group, led by Joe DeFusco, met with Governor Lamont’s legislative and policy staff to discuss Senate Bill 13 and the related issues of the apprentice hiring ratio. Then on March 5th, CHCC participated alongside other licensed trade groups in a public hearing before the legislature’s General Law Committee, which both Joe DeFusco and Jenn Jennings testifying in support of SB-13, with suggested modifications for further expanding the apprentice hiring ratio. While the usual opposition viewpoints were also expressed at the hearing, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee publicly expressed both their desire to address the problem and their frustration with the issue and directed both sides to attempt to reach an agreement if possible; otherwise the legislature would attempt to address it either this session or next session. In response to these comments, the open shop members of Ratio Working Group have been meeting (virtually) and put together several proposals to present to the opposition, which were subsequently dismissed. Despite being out of session at the moment, we have been keeping both the Governor’s office and the legislative leaders of the General Law Committee apprised of the status of this issue as they had requested. The open shop members of the Ratio Working Group have met (virtually) and will continue to strategize, communicate and advocate to change the hiring ratio.
Visit the CHCC 2020 Legislation Tracking Page
As a CHCC member, you have the unique benefit of being able to access and view all of the legislation that we are tracking on behalf of the HVAC industry in Connecticut. CHCC partners with our lobbyist Andy Markowski of Statehouse Associates to bring you this real-time overview of the many bills at the State Capitol that are of interest to contractors and the association. To review the latest list of bills, please visit CHCC’s 2020 Legislation Tracking page at the link below.
How to Find and Contact Your State Legislators
Have a question? Want to express your opinion? Just want to know who represents you in Hartford? Go to the website below and enter your home and/or business address to look up your state legislators. All it takes is a few quick clicks and you can visit their official webpage, email them, or get their office phone number to make a call. As a CHCC member, your voice matters!
As always, if you have questions on legislation or regulations or if you would like more information on an issue, please feel free to contact the CHCC Office or CHCC’s Lobbyist Andy Markowski of Statehouse Associates at: (860) 707-3620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.