Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT*

Bill No.:

SB-1137

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE CONNECTICUT COMPETITIVENESS COUNCIL.

Vote Date:

4/29/2015

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

4/21/2015

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill has been proposed in an effort to ensure that Connecticut remain economically competitive in the ever-changing highly competitive business climate through the creation of a council charged with the duty of examining and encouraging private sector business growth in this state.

Specifically, this bill establishes a 10-member council to advise the governor, legislature, and businesses about Connecticut's economic competitiveness and ways to improve it. The bill also specifies the council's duties and powers, which include annually assessing Connecticut's economic competitiveness and submitting a report to the governor, the economic and community development commissioner, and several legislative committees on the state's competitiveness and recommended statutory changes to improve it.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None Expressed

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

The NFIB supports this legislation. According to their testimony The NFIB believes that this proposal is a step in the right direction for Connecticut as it relates to business growth. The testimony given also stressed that this bill succeeds in addressing the importance for the entire legislature and the public to know how the programs and policies of state government affect the economy and business environment, steps taken by other states to improve their business climate, and the overall position of Connecticut from an economic standpoint. In addition, the NFIB encourages a focus on small business environments as part of the evaluations and recommendations that this council may consider.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Chennal Chase

Ms. Chase, a care worker for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, opposes this bill claiming that it could drive down wages in the state. She believes the state should focus on adopting a budget that ensures a decent wage for all its workers and making Connecticut more attractive and sustainable for working people.

Gloria Duquette

Ms. Duqette, a certified nursing assistant, opposes this bill believing the state should instead focus on investing in its healthcare services and the people that work in it while also raising the revenue that our state “desperately needs.”

Jeanette Baily-Spence

Ms. Bailey-Spence, a caregiver, opposes this bill stating that it is an excuse to promote lower wages for struggling citizens like her. She also hopes that the language of the bill which includes “business competiveness” focuses on rewarding businesses that create good jobs and not be concerned with lowering wages or paying people so little that they have to depend on state assistance.

Margie Santana

Ms. Santana opposes this bill, stating that Connecticut needs to instead be focusing on raising more revenue to assist struggling citizen who need immediate support.

Yolana Alicea-Lopez

Ms. Alicea-Lopez opposes this legislation stressing the need to instead focus on raising revenue to pay caregivers like her a fair wage that will in turn reinvest those dollars immediately and directly into local businesses in the state's local communities which will make Connecticut more competitive.

Reported by: Michael Costeines

Date: 5/1/15