During the 2017 Connecticut General Assembly session, state lawmakers voted on a number of key bills.
While these bills reflect just a fraction of all legislation addressed during the session, they were chosen as the framework for CBIA's 2017 legislative voting records because of their potential impact—positive or negative—on Connecticut's economic competitiveness and business climate.
2017 Key Bills
SEBAC (SR 51 and HR 202): While the agreement struck with state employee unions includes reforms, it also extends union contracts to 2027 and includes provisions limiting layoffs, generating concerns about its long-term sustainability. SR 51 passed Senate after Lieutenant Governor broke an 18-18 tie. HR 202 passed the House 78-72. CBIA Position: Opposed.
First Bipartisan Budget (HB 7501): Included structural reforms and addressed increasing costs of state government with a spending cap, limits on borrowing, required votes on union contracts, and changes to the state employee retirement system. Passed Senate 21-15, House 77-73; vetoed by governor. CBIA Position: Supported.
Second Bipartisan Budget (SB 1502): Compromise budget closed a $3.5 billion deficit without broad-based tax hikes while implementing reforms, including spending cap, limits on borrowing, and mandatory votes on union contracts. Passed Senate 33-3, House 126-23; signed by governor. CBIA Position: Supported.
Paid FMLA (SB 1): Costly new mandate on businesses with two or more employees required $13.6 million in start-up costs and another $18 million annually. Passed Labor Committee 7-6; no action taken by Senate. CBIA Position: Opposed.
Unemployment Compensation Reform (HB 6461): Made long overdue reforms to state's unemployment trust fund. Passed Appropriations Committee 25-23; no action taken by House. CBIA Position: Supported.
Workers' Compensation Liability (HB 6666): Negated "exclusive remedy" piece of the state Workers' Compensation Act, leading to increased costs for insurers and employers. Passed Judiciary Committee 27-14; no action taken by Appropriations Committee. CBIA Position: Opposed.
Workplace Actions (SB 929): Exposed employers and municipalities to unprecedented liability with new penalties for violations of state whistleblower statute. Passed Appropriations Committee 26-20, Senate 30-6; no action taken by House. CBIA Position: Opposed.
Manufacturing Training (HB 7064): Helped smaller manufacturers offset training costs extending the manufacturing apprenticeship tax credit to pass-through entities. Passed Commerce Committee 21-0; no action taken by House. CBIA Position: Supported.
Technical High Schools (HB 7271): Created a technical high school system separate from the state Department of Education, improving workforce development efforts. Passed House 96-50, Senate 34-1; signed by governor. CBIA Position: Supported.
Health Exchange Fees (amendment to SB 544): Required approval of full General Assembly for proposed increases in assessments or user fees charged to carriers by state’s health insurance exchange. Amendment failed in Insurance Committee 9-11. CBIA Position: Supported.
Angel Investors (HB 5583): Supported small business growth by allowing investments in additional types of businesses to qualify for angel investor tax credit. Passed House 144-0, Senate 36-0; signed by governor. CBIA Position: Supported.
Biosimilars (HB 7118): Brought new type of medicines to Connecticut, creating substantial savings for patients and the healthcare system. Passed General Law Committee 17-0, Public Health Committee 21-5, House 143-5; no action taken by Senate. CBIA Position: Supported.
DEEP Penalties (SB 818): Required DEEP to waive any civil penalty assessed against any business for a first-time violation if action is taken to remedy the violation within 30 days. Passed Commerce Committee 21-0, Senate 26-10; no action taken by House. CBIA Position: Supported.
DEEP Permits (HB 6327): Required proposed DEEP general permits with the potential to impact large numbers of businesses to be adopted following the same process as regulations. Failed in Environment Committee 13-16. CBIA Position: Supported.
Electric Ratepayers (HB 7036): Required any bill with a financial impact on electric ratepayers to include an impact statement. Passed House 130-14, Senate 32-0; signed by governor. CBIA Position: Supported.