Rob’s Column in the Wolcott Community News: September 2012

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Sep 7, 2012 No Comments ›› admin

Over the past year, there have been a great number of issues addressed in the Connecticut General Assembly affecting the people of Connecticut.  Certainly, the repeal of the death penalty, the early release of violent criminals, the ridiculous New Britain to Hartford Busway project and the many new taxes imposed on our citizens are things that immediately come to mind.

However, it’s still jobs and the economy that have me and the majority of people I talk to concerned the most.

I have spent my first two years of my legislative career working to restore and bring jobs to our state by defending local businesses and encouraging business-friendly legislation to revitalize Connecticut’s economy. As a member of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Judiciary and Appropriations Committees, I have worked hard to fight many job-killing pieces of legislation that could further cripple our already poor business environment here in Connecticut.

Our state was recently ranked 44th in the nation for its business climate.  I feel that it is critically important that we take steps to reverse the recent anti-business trend many of the majority’s budget policies have imposed.

Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the largest pro-business organization in the state, recently released their scorecard showing how legislators in the state House of Representatives voted over the past two years on a number of key bills impacting Connecticut’s economic growth and business climate.

Along with the rest of the State house Lawmakers I was scored on 7 important business related measures proposed this past year.  Scores are based on each legislator’s support or opposition in relation to the business community’s positions. Some of the bills considered include the Governor’s most recent budget that included the largest tax increase in Connecticut history, the special session “jobs bill” and the recent campaign finance reform bill (HB 5556). I’m proud to say that I just received a perfect record on CBIA’s key bills scorecard for legislators.

Families across our state are struggling.  Helping businesses to start, grow and stay in Connecticut has a direct impact on employment and would help put folks back to work and get our economy back on track.

I have taken ambitious steps to promote the creation of private sector jobs through private sector growth during my first two years as a legislator. I have met repeatedly with Southington and Wolcott small business owners and Chambers of Commerce to get their input and to build a stronger bond between businesses and their elected officials.

As a small businessperson myself, I understand the squeeze business owners and employers get from the heavy hand of government red tape and bureaucracy. It’s important to hear their ideas and concerns about Connecticut’s business climate and bring what I have learned to the State Capitol for action.

The complete CBIA scorecard for all members of the House of Representatives can be viewed here:http://www.cbia.com/govaff/magicpages/uclip/housevotes.htm

Also, this past month, I had the honor of receiving the Legislator of the Year award from the Connecticut Citizen’s Defense League, our state’s largest pro-2nd amendment organization. This award is given to the legislator who has done the most for the gun rights of state residents, regardless of political affiliation.

Of course, this was a busy month for me here in the district as well.  I got the opportunity to visit with local seniors at some local events and was pleased to hear that they share my concerns about wasteful spending in our state government and the fears they face about the ever increasing cost of living in our state.  I am working hard to reverse that trend and make Connecticut a better place to live for all our residents.  I believe we should be concentrating on reducing the costs of energy and gasoline as well as reducing taxes all around.