You might say it’s final exam season at the state legislature as the 2015 session concludes and national competitiveness surveys such as CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business (summer) and Forbes' Best States for Business (fall) show whether or not Connecticut is making the grade.
Over the next two weeks, state lawmakers will take final action on numerous proposals that could impact Connecticut’s rankings and our state’s economic vitality.
Of course, data informs the national rankings, but so does direction—where is the state headed?
Lawmakers can’t forget that Connecticut’s competitors aren’t standing still—they’re getting better.
Top states in last year’s CNBC rankings in fact moved up pretty aggressively:
Georgia 1 8
North Carolina 5 12
Minnesota 6 15
Washington 7 21
Two red states, two blue states. Some with high costs, some with lower costs. But all moving up.
Connecticut, meanwhile, dropped one place from #45 to #46.
Seemingly lost in the shuffle over the past five months in the legislature is the desire for our state to join those states in climbing up national rankings.
Policymakers had been united around the need to make Connecticut more competitive—to build on our enormous potential for jobs, investments, opportunities.
But as the session nears adjournment on Wednesday, June 3, lawmakers are considering many proposals that will make Connecticut less, not more, competitive.
They’re also debating major tax and spending increases that will hobble our economy and ultimately limit opportunities for those seeking job opportunities.
Anything’s possible, and lawmakers should at the least abandon proposals that would set us further back on the competitive ladder.
Policymakers should also pursue ways to make state government—and therefore the state budget—work better and more affordably for Connecticut taxpayers.
Perhaps then CNBC, Forbes, and other national media outlets can start telling the story of Connecticut’s amazing turnaround.