Capitol Connection: Governor Was Wrong to Veto Bill that Helps Small Businesses

June 14, 2016

From the Office of State Senator Kevin Witkos

Governor Dannel P. Malloy was wrong to veto a bill designed to help protect small businesses from burdensome new regulations.

The bill, Public Act 16-32, garnered unanimous bipartisan support in both the Senate and House. The legislation would require that state agencies answer a series of questions any time they propose new regulations that impact small businesses of up to 250 employees. The questions are designed so that small businesses have a voice before more regulations are imposed. They include questions such as:

  • Will small businesses have to create, file or issue additional reports?
  • Will they have to implement additional recordkeeping?
  • Will they have to provide additional administrative oversight?
  • Will they have to pay any additional taxes or fees?

Our state should be asking these questions so that we know exactly how any proposed regulations may impact our business community and minimize any potential adverse effects.

According to research by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, these questions are the same that state agencies in neighboring Massachusetts and Rhode Island are already required to answer when proposing regulations affecting small business in those states.

This bill would not only benefit small businesses, it would also be helpful to state agencies. The bill would ensure the state knows exactly who will be impacted by any proposed regulation by requiring the state to identify the total number and types of small businesses potentially subject to the proposed regulation.

This is good policy that would show businesses and employers in the state of Connecticut that we care about helping them create jobs and boost our economy.

The governor’s veto message says that he is concerned about the burdens that will be placed on agencies. I think that statement shows the governor’s priorities are not focused on the burdens our employers face on a daily basis. I believe asking these questions is part of the core function of the work our agencies.

The burden should not be on our employers to comply with a regulation. The burden should be on the state to fully understand the consequences of new regulations.

Sen. Witkos, Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore, represents the 8th District towns of Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury and Torrington. For more information visit or