Connecticut's growing fiscal problems have an unsettling effect on our business climate and economy, risking jobs, government services, and our quality of life.

As opinion polls consistently illustrate, voters recognize those issues and they are becoming increasingly concerned about the direction of the state.

A February Gallup Poll found that Connecticut ranked third lowest in the country in terms of voter confidence in their state’s economy—ahead of only Illinois and West Virginia.

And 75% of voters surveyed last fall by the independent Quinnipiac University Poll described the state’s economy as “not so good” or “poor."

Gallup also uncovered a link between a state’s tax burden and the percentage of residents who report they would like to leave the state.

Residents living in states with the highest tax burden were most likely to report they would leave their state if they had the opportunity.

Confidence-Gov_022416We've seen the two highest tax increases in state history in recent years, so it wasn't surprising that 46% of Connecticut respondents told Gallup they would like to move.

Voters regularly tell pollsters that jobs, the economy, and the state’s business climate should be the top priority for Connecticut legislators.

Yet state lawmakers registered just 39% approval in the fall Q-Poll while the Gallup Poll placed Connecticut third last when it came to confidence in state government.

Connecticut has many strengths, including a top-five ranking in workforce productivity, high scores in education and healthcare, and a great quality of life.

We have the opportunity to build on those strengths, maintain our quality of life, create more opportunities for good, well-paying jobs, and continue to care for our neediest citizens, but things must change.

If we're ever going to fix our economy, it has to be now.

Obviously, residents feel their tax burden is high, and their confidence in the state economy and government is low.

Our own surveys confirm that business leaders feel the same way.

It's clear voters want bold action, for lawmakers to send a clear message Connecticut is changing the way it does business.

They want state spending brought under control and for government to operate quicker, leaner, smarter, and more efficiently.

The budget reforms proposed by the Governor are essential for moving our state in the right direction.

Voters believe Connecticut legislators--Republicans and Democrats--must work together and act on those proposals.

That's what will keep jobs, businesses, and families in Connecticut.