We may be in a deep freeze—and knee-deep in snow--these days in Connecticut, but things are rapidly heating up at the State Capitol where 184 state legislators in 27 committees are sorting through hundreds of bills on scores of topics—many of which could impact the state’s economy and business community.

Now is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of their state legislators by being in touch with them on the issues they consider most important.

So far, many proposals deal with ways to put Connecticut on course to move up in national economic competitiveness rankings, and frankly, many more bills that will throw us off course.

“Nothing makes an impression on state legislators more than the solid information that employers provide them on some of the toughest issues they face,” says Bonnie Stewart, chief of CBIA’s Capitol Team and CBIA vice president and general counsel.

More than ever, she said, “legislators need to weigh every piece of legislation that comes before them on whether it will help, or hurt our economy and ability to create good jobs. And the expertise that businesses provide can help them make the right decisions.”

Most of the toughest work of the legislature takes place in those various committees, and lawmakers can’t know of, or address, your concerns unless they hear from you.

What’s more, the earliest committee deadlines are already starting to come up, so there’s no time like the present to make your voice heard.

Business voice

Employers can provide vital information to legislators on subjects that may be unfamiliar to lawmakers, from workers’ compensation, to taxes, to even chemical management and so much more.

That’s why many CBIA members are participating in CBIA councils and task forces to help lawmakers better understand complex issues. Council members often testify at the State Capitol on key issues and meet with legislators to brief them on the business perspective on important proposals.  

But many state lawmakers are also going out into the community this winter to meet with their constituents in local office hours and other events. See a list of some of the next coming events, below.

You can find lots of information about your state legislators at CBIA’s Government Affairs website, including how and where to contact them. You’ll also see their committee assignments to help direct your comments, questions, or requests.

Here’s a look at some of the most important events coming up at the Capitol

Special elections

Of course, voting is the most direct way to impact the state legislature, and there are three special elections taking place on Tuesday, Feb. 24, to fill newly opened seats in the legislature. Those include:

  • 23rd Senate District (Bridgeport, Stratford)  
  • 107th House District (Bethel, Brookfield and Danbury)
  • 129th House District (Bridgeport)  

Voters in those districts should be sure to go out and vote on Feb. 24.

Connecticut Business Day

The biggest single event of the year for employers to be seen and heard at the State Capitol is the annual Connecticut Business Day, this year on Wednesday, March 25.  

Manufacturing & Technology Day

Dozens of Connecticut manufacturers will exhibit their products and services at the State Capitol on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 for this year’s Manufacturing & Technology Day celebration.

<strong>Legislators’ District Office Hours and Events

Saturday, Feb. 7

  • Sen. Rob Kane, Rep. Eric Berthel and Rep. Craig Miner | 8:30-10 am, Winding Wheel Coffeebar and Café, 20 Sherman Hill Road, Woodbury
  • Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey I 10-11:30 am, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, 1147 Fairfield Woods Rd., Fairfield

Tuesday, Feb. 10

  • Rep. Tim LeGeyt | 8:30-9:30 am, Bruegger’s Bagels, 45 East Main Street, Avon

Wednesday, Feb. 11

  • Rep. Tim LeGeyt | 8:30-9:30 am, McDonald’s, 220 Albany Turnpike, Canton

Thursday, Feb. 12

  • Sen. Tony Hwang, Rep. John Shaban | 6:30-8 pm, Easton Public Library, Community Room, 691 Morehouse Road, Easton

Monday, Feb. 23

  • Sen. Joan Hartley and Rep. Anthony D’Amelio | 5-7 pm, Kennedy High School, 422 Highland Ave., Waterbury

Thursday, Feb. 26

  • Rep. Prasad Srinivasan | 6:30-8 pm, Welles-Turner Memorial Library, 2407 Main Street, Glastonbury

For more information about these events, contact Nicole Cline at 860.244.1929 or nicole.cline@cbia.com.