Jobs for Connecticut, Now!

October 15, 2010

As Connecticut begins to recover from the national recession, one of the legislature’s most important tasks over the next year will be to recover the tens-of-thousands of jobs we have lost and to protect those jobs for future generations.

Last week, Jobs for Connecticut Now (JCTN), a non-partisan government watchdog, rated the voting records of each of Connecticut’s 187 legislators on measures aimed at promoting greater economic growth and employment throughout the state. I was pleased to have received the organizations highest rating, a perfect 100% for supporting legislation creating the Bradley Airport Economic Development Zone, establishing a Connecticut jobs task force, and expediting agency permits to allow businesses to grow. Regrettably, only 41 out of 187 of my colleagues matched my voting record on what I believe to be the kind of common sense, pro-jobs initiatives our state desperately needs.

It is more expensive to do business in Connecticut than almost anywhere else in the nation. Our tax burden is exorbitant; our energy and healthcare costs are more expensive; and our property taxes are higher due to the number of unfunded state mandates we require towns to pay. The legislature exacerbates these problems when, as a means to economic recovery, we turn to big government solutions, rather than investing in small businesses and encouraging entrepreneurship.

We need to change this philosophy. That is why I support a comprehensive jobs growth initiative that would expand job creation tax credits; repeal the 10% corporate tax surcharge; repeal the business entity tax; and provides incentives to emerging and next generation industries including alternative fuel, environmental remediation and nanotechnology. These industries can provide good paying jobs to thousands of Connecticut workers at all levels of skill, experience and education.

JCTN understands these goals and I commend them for holding the legislature accountable as a whole for its decidedly anti-business voting record. As JCTN Chairman Steven Bull said, “Connecticut needs to reverse the anti-business mentality that has plagued this region for too long, and the legislative records of our elected officials serve as a key tool to reaching that goal.”

I am pleased to represent one of the hardest working regions of our state. I know that you share the same concerns I do about Connecticut’s economic future and how the decisions we make in Hartford today will affect your lives and the lives of your children for years to come. I want to help make it more affordable to live and work in Connecticut, so that our children and grandchildren are afforded the same opportunities that have been available to me. The path to that future starts with a dedicated commitment to helping Connecticut businesses create and retain good paying jobs.