Let’s Learn from Employers and Create More Opportunity

Posted on May 6, 2019 by admin


Every month we see more negative headlines about our state; recently we saw that Connecticut lost 1,300 jobs in March. I’m tired of seeing negative headlines, and I know my neighbors are too.

It’s not often small businesses and contractors can take time off and advocate at the Capitol, but I recently had the pleasure of speaking with members of the Connecticut Association of Homebuilders and Remodelers, and the month before I met with the Tolland County Chamber of Commerce.

I heard the same message from both groups; businesses are struggling to get ahead. They can’t keep up with the high costs of taxes, fees and employer mandates, they can’t attract the workforce they need and they haven’t seen politicians in Hartford take their concerns seriously enough.

The legislature needs to listen to what job creators and tax-payers are telling us.

Our state is in a hole, and at this rate we won’t recover all of the jobs lost in the 2008 recession until 2021. We have lagged behind the rest of the country and our neighboring states. This lack of growth has led young and old alike to leave our state in search of better opportunities.

The first step to getting out of a hole is to stop digging. During the last term we took a few steps in the right direction, when we imposed new caps on spending, and borrowing, and made changes to grow our rainy day fund. We need to keep moving in that direction and make incremental changes to restore our financial health.

However, the conversation this year has started in a very different place. It started off with the new administration proposing sales tax expansion on everything from non-prescription medication to accounting services, and it has continued with the legislature advancing expensive new employer mandates, a new payroll tax to create a state-run paid family leave program and legislation to install tolls!

We need to move the conversation back to affordability and growing opportunity in our state. Let’s build off of the progress made in last term’s compromise budget and get our costs under control before we even think about asking families and businesses to pay even more. Let’s focus on workforce development and make sure young workers can afford to stay here.

We can do this, we just need to listen to what our local job creators are telling us.