With only eight weeks remaining in the 2016 legislative session, it’s critically important that policymakers work together to close the gap in this year’s budget and create a fiscally-sound future for the state, business leaders said today at a Connecticut Business Day press conference.
CBIA, along with the Connecticut Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, and Connecticut REALTORS, called on lawmakers to act with a heightened sense of urgency to address the state’s current budget problems and commit to stay the course in the future.
“We want lawmakers to fully understand the challenges facing Connecticut’s employers and acknowledge the role they play in removing barriers and accelerating growth,” said CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan.
"Given all the difficulties facing our economy and business climate, employers are looking for legislators to demonstrate a sincere desire to make our state and its businesses more economically competitive."
Connecticut Business Day is an annual event that brings hundreds of business leaders to the State Capitol to meet with legislators and voice concerns.
“Connecticut has many assets, but they are at risk if we don't take immediate action to improve the climate for investment and job creation in the state,” said JoAnn Ryan, chair, CACCE, and president and CEO of Northwest Connecticut's Chamber of Commerce.
“The business community wants to see our state succeed, to sustain that great quality of life.”
”We are here today because we want to be part of the solution and will do whatever it takes to put Connecticut on a better path.”
Policymakers were urged to use this legislative session to start taking steps to address budget shortfalls.
“Businesses are frustrated,” said Tony Rescigno, president of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.
“They are frustrated because they are having difficulties growing their business, and feel that government has been too slow to fix the problems my members and all businesses face.
“It all has to change this year and it starts with passing budget adjustments that balance the budget without raising taxes, and follows the blueprint laid out by the Governor.”
The group asked lawmakers to reform the budget-making process, focus on core services, and reject all new costs and mandates on the very people that are making decisions on whether or not to stay in Connecticut.
Michael O. Feldman, president of Connecticut REALTORS, added that decisions made at the Capitol have far-reaching impact.
“When businesses leave the state, so do their employees,” said Feldman.
“The impact goes beyond tax receipts–it touches real estate, service industries, property taxes.
“If we don’t get our fiscal house in order, our economy will continue to struggle, and only a vibrant, growing economy can ensure the great quality of life we all value here in Connecticut.”
CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state. For more information, please email or call Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957).