Proposal to ‘Protect’ State from Growing Jobs and the Economy
Focus this year at the State Capitol is supposed to be on finding ways to get Connecticut’s fiscal house in shape and economy growing again. But SB-242, a protectionist proposal now before the state Senate, works against both of those goals.
First, SB-242 will turn Connecticut companies away from bidding on state contracts by restricting where they can source their work. The proposal says a company can’t win contracted work (of more than $100,000) with the state if it sources any part of that work outside of the U.S.
The bill also blocks companies from hiring subcontractors from outside the country. Jobs in Connecticut won’t increase if we put off companies that are competing and growing in the global economy.
Connecticut companies are deeply involved in global trade, and the state is already home to thousands of foreign-owned businesses that are feeding our economy with jobs and commerce. Approximately 1,200 foreign-owned companies have chosen to invest in Connecticut, employ 104,900 people here–more than 7% of Connecticut’s private-sector workforce—and pay taxes to the state.
We also have more than 4,600 companies that are involved in international trade and generate $15 billion annually in exports. Nearly 500,000 Connecticut jobs depend directly or indirectly on foreign trade. We’re also first in the country (tied with South Carolina) in the share of our workforce supported by U.S. subsidiaries.
How likely is it that these companies will continue to feel confident in Connecticut and in placing jobs here if the state is not willing to be an equal player in the global economy?
Blocks wise spending
What’s more, by narrowing the potential field of companies that will consider doing business with the state, SB-242 weakens state government’s ability to offer services in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible. Translation: Taxpayers will pay more under SB-242, and the state will continue to wander away from doing the hard work of making every tax dollar count.
Blocking businesses from offering the state the most cost-effective bid possible is a misstep in an era of multibillion-dollar state deficit projections. It also micromanages companies working hard to survive amid intense global competition.
SB-242 also expands notice requirements for companies that have to reduce their workforces and assesses a penalty of $1,000 a day if six months’ notice is not given.
Federal law already requires all but the smallest employers to provide 60-day notice. Consequently, employees are already protected, and this measure—and its harsh penalty—are not necessary.
Forcing employers to either increase their costs or, in effect, advertise their difficult situation will only make doing business in Connecticut harder.
Spending every tax dollar wisely and enabling Connecticut companies to be full participants in the global economy and operate as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible are the real ways to save and create Connecticut jobs.
For more information on these bills, contact CBIA’s Bonnie Stewart at 860.244.1925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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