Connecticut's largest business association today released its 2017 legislative agenda, a series of policy proposals designed to put Connecticut on the path to a stronger, more competitive economy.
"Connecticut has so many advantages as a place to do business," said CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan.
"But the reality is that we are not reaching our economic potential.
"Given the fact that our economy is lagging much of the nation and the region, the new legislature must act with a sense of urgency to give employers the confidence to invest here and grow Connecticut jobs."
Brennan said state investments in aerospace, bioscience, and other key industries have begun to pay off, but Connecticut's ongoing fiscal problems have had a chilling effect on overall investment and growth in the state.
"This chronic fiscal instability shakes business confidence and hinders private sector investments," he said.
"Job number one for the legislature must be continuing the progress made in 2016 in closing budget gaps without resorting to harmful tax increases that drive those investments elsewhere.
"Fixing our economy means implementing long-term structural spending reforms–including a workable spending cap–lessening mandates and regulations on employers, and expanding the talent pipeline so growing companies can add new jobs here."
CBIA's 2017 legislative priorities are based around eight key issue areas:
Sustainable state spending and tax policy: Restore fiscal stability and expand economic growth and business confidence by reforming state government, reducing the cost of services, stabilizing long-term state finances, and adopting tax policies that encourage private-sector investment.
Education and workforce development: Strengthen the talent pipeline to provide more opportunities for residents and meet the skilled workforce needs of the state’s employers.
Energy: Create a competitive energy future with diverse fuel sources, lower energy costs, superior infrastructure, and advanced technologies.
Environment: Create a new culture of partnership and collaboration between state regulators and the business community to ensure a clean environment and a growing economy.
Healthcare: Shape healthcare policy using innovative best practices that reduce costs and increase quality and access.
Labor and employment: Help businesses create jobs by making Connecticut’s labor laws and regulations more consistent with federal requirements and removing excessive administrative and legal burdens on employers.
Regulatory reform: Create systems to ensure regulations minimize costs to businesses and are adopted only if necessary to achieve the core mission of the sponsoring agency, clearly written, and interpreted reasonably and consistently.
Transportation: Dedicate public and private resources to priority projects that will ease congestion and improve infrastructure connectivity.
"State lawmakers can unleash Connecticut's true economic potential by making policy choices that leverage our many strengths," Brennan said.
"And the business community is ready to work with them in making this a great state to live, work, and raise a family."
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).