An amazing thing is taking place throughout Connecticut as summer turns to fall.

Employers and state lawmakers are getting together to talk about what happened during the 2015 legislative session and what’s next for Connecticut jobs and the state’s economy.

Lawmakers, after all, approved another significant tax increase to make the state’s two-year budget balance, with much of the burden falling on employers in the state.

Changes were made during a special session in late June that reduced the tax increases somewhat.

Yet as Connecticut’s economy continues to pick up steam, our competitor states are also strengthening—and they’ve been outpacing us throughout the recovery.

So, CBIA, businesses, chambers of commerce and other organizations are participating in a series of “Legislative Wrap Up Meetings” with legislators to sort things through and keep talking to each other about how to make Connecticut more competitive.

Today, a packed house at Ulbrich Stainless Steels and Special Metals in North Haven got to dialogue with Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney (D-New Haven), House Speaker Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden), Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven), and State Reps. Vin Candelora (R-North Branford), Mary Mushinsky (D-Wallingford), and David Yaccarino (R-North Haven).

[Photo above, left to right: Sharkey, Fasano, and Looney in North Haven]

The meeting was sponsored by Ulbrich, the New Haven Manufacturers Association, and CBIA.

Hot topics, not surprisingly, included taxes and Connecticut’s business climate.

Many employers in the room talked about how some actions of the legislature are making it harder to succeed in business in Connecticut.  What’s more, many also said they believe economic activity, jobs, and wealth are moving away from the state.

All spoke from the first-person experience of running a business in Connecticut and the real impacts of legislation and the high costs of doing business here.

Lawmakers appreciated the candid comments, said they shared the same goals, and indicated interest in continuing the dialogue.

In fact, several more meetings are on the way, in different parts of the state. If you haven’t already, please make plans to attend a Legislative Wrap Up Meeting to speak directly with your local lawmakers and help them understand the challenges you and your employees face.

It’s critically important to make your voice heard at every opportunity.

Here are the upcoming Legislative Wrap Up Meetings (unless noted, meetings are free, and begin at 8 am):

  • Tuesday, Sept. 1--with the Chamber of Commerce, Windham Region; at The Windham Club, 184 Club Road, North Windham ($20 per person; 8:30 am)
  • Friday, Sept. 4—with the Rocky Hill Chamber of Commerce, Rocky Hill Town Hall, Rocky Hill
  • Thursday, Sept. 10—with the Tolland County Chamber of Commerce, CNC Software Inc., 671 Old Post Road, Tolland
  • Tuesday, Sept. 15—with the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce, The Pavilion at Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook
  • Tuesday, Sept. 15—with the Simsbury Chamber of Commerce, Eno Memorial Hall, Simsbury
  • Tuesday, Oct. 6 –with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, 20 Hartford Rd # A, Manchester

For more information about the Legislative Wrap Up Meetings, contact CBIA’s Nicole Cline at 860.244.1929 or