With just over a week left to the 2014 legislative session, lawmakers have an excellent opportunity to raise Connecticut’s standing as a place to invest and grow jobs—if they pass bills to improve our regulatory climate and reject others casting our state as anti-innovation and averse to science-based solutions to important issues.
- Helping municipalities more quickly get contaminated sites cleaned up and permitted for reuse
- Ensuring that state regulations are regularly reviewed to make sure they are achieving their purpose and not placing unreasonable burdens on businesses
- Helping businesses that have first-time compliance issues be able to quickly comply without being hit with administrative fines
Just as important, legislators should reject bills that would damage our image as a state of innovation and prudent public policy. Innovation can sometimes present challenges; policymakers should find solutions addressing those challenges and not rule out or ban innovation or its by-products.
For example, SB 237 would ban certain wastewaters from entering the state even before the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalizes its independent and comprehensive study of the issue.
A similar measure in SB 443 sought to ban the presence of a new form of grass seed in the state designed to reduce water and pesticide usage–again, while intense study is still underway and the product is not even on the market. While SB 443 died, there is talk of bringing back the ban in another bill.
And SB 126 seeks to establish a process in which Connecticut regulators would identify chemicals and make recommendations to the legislature for regulation, bans, or other measures requiring manufacturers to conduct chemical replacement feasibility studies.
CBIA urges legislators to seize this opportunity to send a strong message that Connecticut is serious about improving its standing as a place for innovative businesses to locate and grow.
The association encourages lawmakers to approve HB 5573 and HB 541 along with SB 272 and SB 485. And legislators should reject SB 126 and SB 237 along with any effort to resurrect the ban on grass seed being developed by biotechnology engineers.