In presidential election years, the race for the White House commands most of the media's attention, crowding out news about candidates running for the state legislature.
2016 is certainly no exception.
The votes we cast November 8 for our state senators and representatives, however, are just as important as our choices for national office; state lawmakers’ actions often have a greater impact on our daily lives and workplaces than decisions made at the federal level.
Those votes carry all the more weight this year, considering the exceptionally difficult economic and fiscal challenges now facing Connecticut.
So, it’s important for voters to make educated decisions when choosing their state legislators rather than simply relying on name recognition or mere familiarity with a candidate.
This summer, CBIA launched Fix Connecticut, an aggressive campaign supporting candidates who will make jobs, economic growth, and fiscal reform their top priorities.
As always, we are endorsing candidates for the General Assembly and conducting advertising and grassroots activities around the election.
But this year, through Fix Connecticut, we’re also making independent expenditures in a limited number of state House and Senate races as a way of more directly getting our message out to members and the voting public.
Voters must let their ballots do the talking, and tell the next class of state lawmakers that business as usual is no longer acceptable.
That said, we won’t apologize for the fact that we are endorsing and supporting more Republicans than Democrats in this year’s state elections.
Our decisions on supporting candidates were driven by voting records, not whether a candidate has an R or D after their name.
Policy Choices Matter
How did they vote on tax hikes? Costly mandates on businesses? Where do they stand on meaningful, long-term state spending reforms?
Policy choices matter. And poor choices over the last few years have eroded Connecticut's considerable strengths and led to our current fiscal and economic challenges.
It's unacceptable that Connecticut has the highest unemployment rate in New England and the region's slowest post-recession jobs recovery.
It's unacceptable that our economy grew just 0.6% last year, almost two percentage points below the national average.
It's unacceptable that so many of our young people are forced to leave the state to pursue opportunities elsewhere for good, well-paying jobs.
Connecticut has tremendous assets. There are numerous exciting developments across a number of industry sectors, including aerospace, shipbuilding, bioscience, and advanced manufacturing.
The bottom line? To fully leverage our assets--to create jobs and drive economic growth--means addressing the state's fiscal issues and fostering a more competitive business climate.
When voters go to the polls November 8, they must let their ballots do the talking, and tell the next class of state lawmakers that business as usual is no longer acceptable.
Joe Brennan is CBIA's president and CEO.