Voters: Focus on State Budget, Jobs, Economy
Getting Connecticut’s fiscal house and economy in order should be the top priority of state policymakers this year, say voters responding to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.
Voters’ bottom-line concerns were state tax and spending issues (32% combined) and jobs, the economy, and the state’s business climate (22% combined).
Another 12% identified education; and 7% said transportation was the priority for this year.
All other issues–including healthcare, social services, minimum wage, and the environment–registered in the low single digits.
Job Creators, Too
Another new survey also points to concerns over state taxes in Connecticut.
Almost 90% of Connecticut business leaders say state tax policies are important factors for making investment and location decisions according to the CBIA/Farmington Bank 4th Quarter Economic and Credit Availability Survey.
Nearly two-thirds (61%) of survey respondents said tax policy was very important in their decision-making. Another 27% said it was somewhat important.
Lawmakers should be mindful of those concerns because they are now reviewing Governor Malloy's 2015-2017 budget proposal that includes $900 million in revenue increases and $1.3 billion in spending cuts.
Businesses would be hit with almost half a billion dollars in new taxes in the Governor's budget, impacting crucial investments in research and development, capital expenditures, and–ultimately–job growth and the economy.
The Quinnipiac University survey also found that less than half of Connecticut voters (47%) are satisfied with the state's direction, while 53% said they were dissatisified.
That's a slight improvement from the last time Quinnipiac asked the question in May, 2014 (44% satisified, 56% dissatisfied).
Just 35% of survey respondents described Connecticut's economy as excellent or good, while 64% said it was 'not so good' or poor.
That's not surprising, given the state's long, slow recovery from the recession.
Connecticut has only regained 81% of jobs lost during the March 2008-February 2010 economic downturn, while the U.S. average is 120%. And our 6.4% unemployment rate contrasts starkly with the national rate of 5.6%.
When asked by the Q-Poll if they thought the state's economy was getting better, just 22% said yes, while 25% thought economic conditions were worsening, and 51% replied it remained the same.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Bonnie Stewart at 860.244.1925 | firstname.lastname@example.org | @CBIAbonnie
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