There are certain issues that come up every legislative session in Connecticut that for about the last 20 years or so were considered the proverbial “bad pennies”—they are sure to return. However, the imagery of new Gov. Dannel Malloy this week talking to reporters about the snow storm was perfect—he saw a penny on the floor and picked it up.
There could be very different results for these perennial issues as there is a new sheriff in town, with new ideas and new goals.
Paid sick leave. Requiring employees to provide paid sick days for employees has been a hot button issues for several sessions now. If enacted, Connecticut would be the first state in the nation to mandate paid sick leave. Business groups, Republicans and former Gov. Jodi Rell say it’s a job-killer. But Malloy says he supports it and would sign such a bill. It’s unclear if there is enough support in the state senate for such a bill to even make it to his desk.
Sunday sales. A challenge to Connecticut’s seemingly antiquated ban on Sunday sales of alcohol may very well come to an end this session. The state does not ensure a “day off” for any other retail industry except for this one. The fact neighboring states allow the sales makes things worse. Legislative studies have shown allowing the sales would bring about $7 million in more revenue coming into the state. State Rep. Kathy Tallarita, who hails from the border town of Enfield, has introduced legislation to lift the ban.
The biggest obstacle to allowing Sunday sales in past years was state Sen. Tom Colapietro, the chairman of the general law committee. Colapietro was defeated this past November. Ironically, state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield) supports maintaining the ban, saying he fears job losses if sales are permitted because the super stores would swallow up the mom and pop operations. One would think a Republican would support the free market not to mention a way to bring in more money to the state without having to raise taxes.
Gov. Malloy says he will sign a bill lifting the ban if one makes it to his desk, calling it a no-brainer.