How Will 2015 Influence 2016?

01.05.2016
Issues & Policies

2015 was a tumultuous year for CBIA and the business community, full of highs and lows.
Last January, I pledged we would aggressively and relentlessly pursue our goal of making Connecticut a great state for business.

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Voter sentiment clearly illustrates the connection between the state’s business climate and its economy.

As the 2015 legislative session began, it soon become apparent just how aggressive and relentless we would have to be.
The budget that passed at the end of the session in June contained enormous tax increases, many falling on the business community.
Those increases, our forceful response, and announcements by several iconic Connecticut companies questioning the wisdom of operating in such a fiscally unstable environment, garnered national attention from other states’ governors and media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Those low points, however, catalyzed some of the year’s more positive developments.
The response to the budget by CBIA and the business community helped lead to two special legislative sessions—one in late June and one in December—which rolled back some of the damaging tax hikes contained in the original budget.
The budget fallout also awakened many policymakers to the importance of strengthening Connecticut’s economic competitiveness.
At CBIA’s 200th Annual Meeting in October, Gov. Malloy told 750 business leaders that Connecticut must be one of the most competitive states in the region.
2015 also saw Connecticut gain back all the jobs it had lost in the recession and achieve the country’s 10th best GDP growth rate in the second quarter—4.8%.

Will the short-term fiscal improvements made in 2015 lead to permanent, structural changes in the way the state does business?

What remains to be seen is how the events of the past year will impact 2016.
Will the short-term fiscal improvements made in 2015 lead to permanent, structural changes in the way the state does business?
Will we see more fiscally responsible candidates for the state legislature replace those who have for years ignored or failed to fully grasp the connection between fiscal health and a strong economy?
To help our members prepare for the upcoming legislative session and this fall’s elections, we’ve created charts chronicling the 2015 voting records of state senators and representatives on 10 bills impacting Connecticut’s economic competitiveness and business climate.
We hope you will use this tool during the year to hold your legislators accountable in an informed way, particularly in November when you make your choices in the voting booth.
—Joe Brennan
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CBIA IS FIGHTING TO MAKE CONNECTICUT A TOP STATE FOR BUSINESS, JOBS, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH. A BETTER BUSINESS CLIMATE MEANS A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR EVERYONE.