Connecticut’s Governor-elect Dan Malloy had an impressive track record in economic development and recruiting businesses to Connecticut when he was mayor of Stamford. It’s one of his skills that will be highly prized when he becomes the state’s new chief executive on Jan. 5.

CBIA congratulates Governor-elect Malloy, Lt. Gov.-elect Nancy Wyman, and all of the other state leaders and legislators on their election to office. The business community appreciates their dedication to the state and encourages them to engage the expertise and ingenuity of the employer community to help get Connecticut moving forward again.

Gov.-elect Malloy and the new General Assembly have a tall order ahead of them—fixing a $3.5 billion budget deficit in each of the next three years, restoring fiscal responsibility to Connecticut, and recharging a slowly recovering economy.

“Although Connecticut’s economic recovery is under way, growth is expected to be slower than the U.S. overall,” says John R. Rathgeber, CBIA president and CEO. “We can exceed those expectations by reducing above-average business costs and making Connecticut a state that encourages rather than discourages economic growth."

Malloy is the first Democratic governor in 20 years in Connecticut, and he will have a legislature in which both chambers are controlled by members of his party.

Still, Republicans picked up 14 seats in the state House and one more Senate seat. The new tally is 23 Democrats and 13 Republicans in the Senate; and 100 Democrats and 51 Republicans in the House.

Businesses encourage lawmakers to reach across the aisle to create fiscal policies that will move the state in the right direction, welcome businesses and create jobs.

Legislative leadership

There will be only one leadership change in the next legislature. House Democrats elected Rep. Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) the new majority leader, replacing Secretary of the State-elect Denise Merrill (D-Mansfield Center). Reelected were Sen. Don Williams (D-Brooklyn) as President Pro Tem, and Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven) as Majority Leader.

In the House, Rep. Chris Donovan (D-Meriden) will return as Speaker. Republicans reelected Rep. Larry Cafero (R-Milford) as House minority leader and the Senate Minority Leader will once again be Sen. John McKinney (R-Southport).

State officers

Democrats also won all of the races for state constitutional officers. Denise Nappier won reelection as treasurer, former State Senate Majority Leader George Jepsen won the race for attorney general, Connecticut Healthcare Advocate Kevin Lembo took the race for comptroller, and current House Majority Leader Denise Merrill was elected secretary of the state.

Congress

Connecticut bucked a strong national trend toward Republicans by electing an all-Democratic congressional slate. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal defeated Republican Linda McMahon to win the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by longtime incumbent Sen. Chris Dodd.

Representatives John Larson (D-1),  Joe Courtney (D-2), Rosa DeLauro (D-3), Jim Himes (D-4) and Chris Murphy (D-5) all won reelection, but will now be in the minority party in the House.

Challenges ahead

Said CBIA’s Rathgeber, “It’s vital for state legislators to move quickly on a pro-jobs, pro-economic growth agenda to improve the state’s business climate and encourage employers to invest here.

"We call on lawmakers not to consider any job-killing bills—legislation that would increase the cost of business for employers or add new costly mandates.

“The sooner legislators take action to restore fiscal responsibility and revive our economy, the sooner Connecticut will be on the path to creating the sustainable jobs that are critical to the future of Connecticut’s economy, its residents, and its businesses.”  -