CBIA BizCast: Policy Solutions Focus on Affordability, Career Pathways

Issues & Policies
“All of the solutions that we have are also to keep that momentum moving forward, and keeping people coming into this state,” says CBIA’s Ashley Zane.

CBIA released its 2024 Transform Connecticut Policy Solutions, a 12-point package of recommendations designed to unlock Connecticut’s economic potential, on Feb. 1. 

CBIA vice president of public policy Chris Davis joined senior public policy associate Ashley Zane on the CBIA BizCast to discuss the process behind the development of the policy priorities.

“We looked to identify solutions that help leverage the state’s strengths and really foster new opportunities focusing on a vibrant, robust, and equitable economy,” said Zane. 

The solutions, crafted through a multi-month process, build on the organization’s 2023 policy recommendations. 

“We met with businesses across the state,” said Davis. “We did surveys. And then we did focus groups with our policy team to come up with the agenda items that really touched upon all the issues that are important to our members.”

Multi-Month Process

The 2024 solutions focus on expanding career pathways and making the state a more attractive and affordable place to live and work.

They build on the positive trends in the state’s economy—57,000 people moved to Connecticut, more college graduates are choosing to remain here, and nearly 1,000 new businesses start each month.

“All of the solutions that we have are also to keep that momentum moving forward, and keeping people coming into this state, thriving in the state, growing old in the state, and also hopefully starting families,” said Zane.

Connecticut’s fiscal health is central to driving the state’s positive momentum, and the 2017 bipartisan fiscal guardrails are critical. 

“That’s something that’s very important to our business community,” said Davis. 

“The number one issue that they wanted us to tackle was making sure that those guardrails stay in place because it’s really given us that fiscal stability.”

Policy Solutions

The 2024 Transform Connecticut Policy Solutions will:  

  • Lower the state’s cost of living
  • Improve access to affordable, high-quality health insurance for small business employees
  • Implement tax incentives for first-time homebuyers
  • Make necessary investments in the state’s childcare industry
  • Ease the tax burden on small businesses and incentivize investment
  • Expand business investments in renewable energy
  • Promote new biotech industries
  • Create pathways for second act teachers who want to teach trade courses

Davis said one of the things that makes CBIA unique is “we really cover every single topic that the legislature covers.”

“So we’re going to be spending a lot of time at the state legislature over the next three months, as you can imagine, right up until the deadline, as things get negotiated right up to the end,” he said.

Davis said that to implement solutions, it’s critical to build coalitions behind policy ideas. 

“We’re able to bring a coalition of different organizations, nonprofits from both sides of the spectrum conservative and progressive, and really work together to be able to bring this policy agenda to fruition,” he said. 

The CBIA BizCast is made possible through the generous support of Google. Please rate, review, and subscribe to the BizCast wherever you get your podcasts—we appreciate your support! If you have a story to tell, contact Amanda Marlow.


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