HARTFORD: As a new campaign for governor and competing visons for Connecticut take hold, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association [CBIA] is making its voice known. The association has launched a statewide advertising campaign, focused on “raising public awareness around the issues that most impact the state’s economic future and job growth.”
According to the association “high taxes and a sluggish economy are the top concerns for Connecticut residents, and must be priorities for lawmakers and candidates for elected office.”
Dubbed “The Fix Connecticut” campaign will run into the 2019 General Assembly session and beyond. It features digital, broadcast, and print advertising.
CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan explained, “opinion polls consistently show that taxes, jobs, and the economy are the top issues for people in our state.” He added, “we want to make sure those issues are front and center during what we believe is a make-or-break time for Connecticut. Lawmakers and candidates must understand what really matters to Connecticut and we want residents to understand how critical these issues are to the state’s economic future.”
Brennan said the campaign will complement CBIA’s advocacy efforts during the next legislative session, highlighting policies that will resolve the state’s fiscal problems and build the foundation for economic growth.
“With so much attention on national politics, we cannot lose sight of the critical issues impacting Connecticut. Connecticut has tremendous economic potential. It’s time to unlock that potential by attacking the issues that are holding us back and make this state a leader in economic growth and job creation.”
The CBIA campaign presented a five-point plan [see below] of what it says are “key policy steps designed to remove barriers to economic growth and leverage the state’s many strengths.”
Prioritize Economic and Job Growth. Help businesses compete for talent, expand private-public workforce development initiatives, and continue strengthening high school and college programs to meet the needs of our 21st century economy. The best way to solve the state’s fiscal problems is to grow the economy.
Cut State Spending. Reduce the size and cost of government, privatize appropriate state services, expand the use of non-profit agencies, and put the brakes on spiraling overtime costs.
Make Connecticut More Affordable. That starts with lowering taxes. Connecticut’s personal income, business, and property tax burden is one of the highest in the country—a key factor behind the state’s population decline, including the loss of billions of dollars in income.
Reform the State Employment Retirement System. Align state employee compensation and benefits with Northeast states’ public sectors and the private sector and end the use of overtime in calculating pensions.
Improve Connecticut’s Business Climate. Reject costly, burdensome workplace mandates, cut unnecessary red tape, block new taxes and fees that drive up healthcare costs, reform the state’s unemployment compensation system, and overhaul transportation infrastructure.