Ceci Maher

State Senator

Ceci Maher

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together For Our Communities

May 4, 2024
May 4, 2024


Early this morning, State Senator Ceci Maher (D-Wilton) joined the Senate’s vote to advance Senate Bill 3, moving significant advances in consumer protection one step closer to becoming law. The bill carries a number of improvements for consumers regarding broadband internet access, “junk fees” and the “right to repair,” as well as changes to statutes regarding drone purchasing and operations for municipal and state governments.

“With the internet as a constant in everyday life, and frustration about ‘junk fees’ that are attached to online purchases and waste consumers’ money, as well as devices and appliances requiring expensive repairs among the many consumer pressures in everyday life, this bill addresses a number of consumer needs that will create consumer protections in Connecticut,” said Sen. Maher. “Improved access to broadband internet will support state residents and address some common complaints they have.”

“Senate Bill 3 will end the deceptive concealment of junk fees, empowering individuals to make informed choices,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). “Furthermore, by safeguarding the right to repair, this legislation will grant consumers autonomy over their possessions. In essence, this legislation heralds a new era of fairness that continues Connecticut’s leadership in putting consumers first.”

Senate Bill 3, ” An Act Concerning Consumer Protection,” and its actions are intended to directly protect consumers. Expansions and efforts to support broadband internet access in the state will help ensure all state residents, including low-income households, aging populations, people with disabilities, underserved demographics and rural communities, can keep up with modern internet demands. As of last year, more than 10,000 homes and small businesses in Connecticut, and as many as hundreds of thousands of state residents, do not have access to high-speed internet.

Efforts to fight junk fees will match the federal government’s; the Biden administration has worked to reduce and repeal hidden fees and predatory price advertisements for several years. They also build on 2023 Connecticut legislative work to ban hidden fees on tickets to live events, which went into place last year.

Revelations that producers of listening devices have eavesdropped and even sold information collected from user data have caused controversy in recent years. Amazon paid a fine to the Federal Trade Commission for eavesdropping on consumers while Cox admitted in an earnings call that it monetized data it collected from user data with targeted advertisements.

Enshrining the right to repair will build on efforts already started by other states including California to prevent electronics and appliance manufacturers from monopolizing repair markets of their products, supporting small businesses and members of the public.

Banning drones manufactured in China and Russia would work to counter potential relaying of data from drones back to their countries of origin; the FBI has warned these drones can represent “significant risk” to critical infrastructure in the United States.

Prior to today’s passage in the Senate, the bill passed the Judiciary Committee on April 22 by a 24-11 vote and the General Law Committee on March 12 by a 14-8 vote. It now goes to the House for further consideration.

Contact: Joe O’Leary | 508-479-4969 | Joe.OLeary@cga.ct.gov