If you've ever thought about becoming politically active—letting your state legislators know why your business matters to the future of our state and how their decisions affect your ability to create jobs—now is the time.

And if you haven't thought about it, now is the time.

Connecticut economy: job growth
Post-recession job growth in Connecticut still trails the region and the rest of the country.

If you detect urgency in my tone, you are correct.

I am convinced that 2018 will be a seminal year for Connecticut, and we need everyone in the business community to step up, understand what's at risk for our state, and make their voices heard more forcefully than ever.

Here's why I believe that with such conviction.

Pressures will be brought to bear on Connecticut this year that put us at risk of reverting to the old ways of running the state that led to the fiscal morass and economic doldrums we're experiencing now.

We've made some recent progress toward a more ideologically balanced legislature and greater bipartisanship, which in 2017 resulted in more sound, sustainable fiscal policies—including closing budget gaps without major tax increases.

Progress Threatened

However, massive budget deficits projected for the next several fiscal years and troubling economic numbers threaten to undermine that progress and raise the specter of job-killing, economy-crushing tax hikes.

Post-recession job growth in the state is still far behind the rest of the country, and a recent study by The Pew Charitable Trusts, reported in the Connecticut Mirror, shows that personal income growth between 2007 and the second quarter of 2017 in the state (.6%) fell significantly behind the rest of the U.S. (1.6%).

Let businesses do what they do best: create jobs and grow the economy.
The prospect that our elected officials will seek to tax our way out of these problems and impose burdensome mandates on business is much more likely to materialize if voters in November elect state legislative candidates who are not committed to economic growth and fiscal restraint—policies that will bring jobs and taxpayers back to Connecticut and strengthen our competitiveness.

When it comes to this year's elections, it's critical that we don't let the controversies, partisanship, and divisiveness occurring at the national level—or the concerns that many people have over the direction of our federal government—distract us from what Connecticut needs to do to rebuild its economy and its tax base.

Tell your state legislators the business community can lead Connecticut forward toward a brighter future for everyone if elected officials allow our business leaders to do what they do best: create jobs and grow the economy.

Let them know that our businesses are the ones fighting to make Connecticut more competitive, provide jobs here, and restore prosperity to our amazing state.

Joe Brennan is CBIA's president and CEO.