Last winter, state lawmakers introduced more than a thousand legislative proposals for consideration by the General Assembly. Of these measures, CBIA found hundreds that, if adopted, would have affected the business community and state’s economy in some way.
Despite Connecticut’s very fragile economy, most this year’s business-related proposals were anti-business. Even though state lawmakers said that job protection and creation was a priority, many of the proposals they considered would have had a negative impact on employers’ hiring ability.
News about major job losses in Connecticut, widespread worries about the economy, and a huge state budget deficit seemed not to matter to many legislators. While poll after public opinion poll showed that the people of the state wanted lawmakers to take action to help the economy and safeguard jobs, little of that was attempted or accomplished.
Fortunately, most bills were not debated or otherwise failed in legislative committees. Yet several committees ultimately approved many proposals—from new workplace mandates and regulatory penalties to the great expansion in the cost and scope of state government—that would have hurt prospects for economic recovery and job creation.
By the time the legislature wrapped up the regular session on June 3, lawmakers actually adopted nearly 100 business-related proposals. Many of those approved measures were relatively minor in impact—making certain changes to state laws and regulations or addressing specific situations.
Only a handful of adopted proposals can actually be considered of help to the economy. One of the most helpful (PA 09-19; HB-5930) will be a positive step in counting the economic cost of government by requiring the state to quantify the impact of proposed state regulations on small businesses.
Ultimately, it’s of small consolation to Connecticut employers and their employees that the best that can be said about this year’s General Assembly is that the worst legislation was (mostly) stopped.
At this writing, not all of the bills approved by the legislature have been signed yet by the governor, and some very notable proposals—such as three immensely expensive health-care proposals—might deservedly receive her veto.
Here is a listing of legislative proposals adopted this year by the General Assembly. For more information about any specific legislation, contact CBIA’s staff responsible for those issues, as noted.