The Capitol Beat: October 14-18, 2013

From Gaffney, Bennett & Associates

October 14, 2013 – October 18,  2013

This week Congress averted a colossal financial breakdown and voted to send federal workers back to their desks after a 16-day shutdown and stalemate. By the end people were yawning at the seemingly choreographed clash.  Meantime, state government kept on humming. See below.

  • Governor Calls for Top-Down Review of State Regulations.

On Wednesday, the Governor released an Executive Order (EO) calling for public comment and a top-down review by state agencies of most of the 15,000 pages of state regulations currently on the books.  The goal is to identify for possible elimination or modernization obsolete or unnecessary regulations that are more than four years old. “In all instances, the benefits of regulations must justify their costs, and the objectives of regulations must be achieved through the least burdensome means available,” Malloy said.

In addition to the retrospective review, the Governor’s EO establishes a list of new policy principles for prospective regulations.  Agencies must identify policy goals, costs and benefits, and a clear need for the rules. New rules must follow best practices and be drafted in plain, easily understood language.  And finally, for the most onerous regulations — those costing the state more than $1 million and municipalities more than $100,000 to implement, or that otherwise represent a shift in state policy —  agencies must present a “rigorous impact analysis.”

Click here to read the EO:

NOTE  Gaffney, Bennett and Associates would like to assist  you in drafting comments if your organization is interested in pursuing elimination, revision or preservation of current regulations in any state agency that your business has regular contact with.  The deadline for public comment is December 16, 2013.

  • Daylong Mortgage Assistance Event Planned on October 22.  

On Tuesday, October 22, the state is sponsoring its sixth daylong forum to help Connecticut residents who are behind on mortgage payments or underwater on their home loans.  The event, to be held at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., will enable borrowers to discuss foreclosure prevention and loan modification options with a whole host of lenders and housing counselors.  In addition, federal, state, and local agencies will be available to provide information on job training, fuel assistance and other community resources. More information is available at:, or by calling 1-877-472-8313.

  • DRS Zeroes in on Sales Tax Scofflaws. 

The Connecticut taxman, Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan, has let it be known that business tax permits will not be automatically renewed every five years – as has been past practice — for those entities that owe back sales taxes.  It’s an issue of fairness, Sullivan said. And revenue, of course.

  • CBIA Polls Family-owned Businesses about 2013-14 Outlook.

While the headlines have been dominated lately with companies showing a decline in third quarter net revenues, a recent survey by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association of small family-owned businesses painted a slightly rosier picture for 2013 and 2014.  Of the 209 business owners who responded to the CBIA survey, 52 percent expect to book a sales or revenue increase this year. They’re more optimistic for 2014, with 65 percent expecting an increase. The largest external challenge cited by the businesses was regulations and taxes, while the largest internal challenge was workforce development.

  • Federal Government Shutdown Proves Ripe for Late Night.

David Letterman wasted no time poking fun at Congress this week, making it the focus of his Top 10 list.  After Congress acted to reopen the federal government (for four months at least), one person quipped: “Nice Going, Guys! Treat Yourself to a Vacation.”

  • Did you know…

Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, Access Health CT, has received a top grade by insurance website HealthPocket for its easy-to-navigate online price comparison option.

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