An Open Letter to the Connecticut General Assembly
Last fall, you showed what can happen when politics are set aside and the focus is squarely on jobs and economic growth.
October’s special legislative session was marked by positive, bipartisan action and a series of initial steps toward restoring Connecticut’s economic vitality.
The key is what happens next.
Today’s rapidly evolving global economy demands that we have a competitive edge. We need a business climate that allows Connecticut companies to invest confidently; where research and innovation can thrive; and where skills and talent are nurtured and rewarded.
It’s not about picking winners or losers. It is about leveraging our strengths and removing barriers to job creation. It’s recognizing that while Connecticut is home to a highly skilled, highly compensated workforce, numerous government mandates and regulations make our business costs among the highest in the country.
It’s recognizing that Connecticut must reduce the size and cost of state government by making it quicker, leaner, smarter, and more efficient. Our projected state budget shortfall will require tough decisions. But, we must fulfill last year’s promises to trim the state budget and reduce our long-term liabilities.
We cannot afford additional tax increases or other policies that would handcuff economic growth. Too many businesses are still struggling and too many people are still unemployed to risk dampening our recovery.
Rather, we must make strategic investments to modernize our airports, seaports, railways, and highways.
What’s more, global competitiveness demands meaningful education reforms. Connecticut must raise academic performance for all students and close the widening achievement gap.
Our children deserve a great education and we welcome the governor’s reform initiatives and the initial positive reactions from the leadership of both parties.
As the 2012 General Assembly session begins this week, we urge continued cooperation between the executive and legislative branches, Democrats and Republicans, and public and private sectors. Together, we must remain focused on the challenges ahead.
On behalf of our 10,000 members and their employees and families, we ask that you listen to the concerns and ideas of businesses—small and large—throughout the state. The policies you implement significantly impact Connecticut’s ability to compete on the world stage.
A competitive Connecticut means new opportunities. It means jobs and economic growth. And a better quality of life for everybody.
John R. Rathgeber
President and CEO
Connecticut Business & Industry Association
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