“We’re in; let us help.” That’s essentially what leaders of the state’s largest business organizations came to the State Capitol this week to tell Governor Malloy about his efforts to drive economic growth and fiscal sustainability.
Reinforcing their commitment to Connecticut and offering the expertise of the private sector in addressing the state’s challenges were CBIA, leaders of the state’s largest metro chambers, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Hamden Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations.
“We welcomed your efforts last year to address the significant deficit in the fiscal year 2016 budget on a bipartisan basis,” the groups wrote to the governor, “and look forward to working with you this year to accelerate economic growth while continuing to make fiscal progress.”
They said enlisting the help of business leaders can help the state achieve four fundamental objectives to sustaining Connecticut’s long-term growth:
- Retaining and recruiting young talent
- Strengthening the livability and competitiveness of urban centers
- Ensuring best-in-class transportation
- Re-establishing Connecticut’s historic 4% annual increases in per capita income
Hitting those objectives, said the leaders, is critical to restoring business confidence. And boosting business confidence will beget the state tax revenues needed for critical public services and infrastructure improvements.
They also suggested how to get there, most important by more intentionally and planfully engaging the private sector, and exercising greater state spending discipline.
Among the recommendations are bi-annual state economic and employment strategy conferences, similar to the bipartisan events used by Michigan and Minnesota, to develop a “multi-year plan that strengthens Connecticut on all economic, fiscal, and quality of life fronts.”
They also called for the state to:
- Implement the many recommendations of the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century to improve how the state operates and more efficiently use taxpayer dollars.
- Adopt constitutional amendments to ensure transportation dollars are used for transportation purposes, and to formally clarify and ratify a state spending cap.
“By building and sustaining the engagement of the private sector and focusing on growth initiatives and disciplined spending, we will ensure that Connecticut competes aggressively and successfully for jobs, capital, and talent,” said the business leaders.