The Fairfield Republican legislative delegation joined Senate and House Republican leaders Thursday, Sept. 24, to share their concerns about Connecticut’s business environment and GE’s potential move from Fairfield. State Sen. Tony Hwang, Rep. Brenda Kupchick, and Rep. Laura Devlin organized a press conference on the Fairfield Town Hall Green to renew their calls for a special session to make holistic changes to the state budget and fight for local businesses.
“Our state is in a crisis. Our financial house is falling apart and the very foundation is crumbling as more and more businesses and residents leave for states with a stable and livable tax structure,” Hwang said. “This situation will only get worse if we do nothing. A crisis demands immediate attention. It demands thoughtful leadership and decisive action. We stand ready to do our part for all of the people of Connecticut. Will Gov. Malloy and Democratic legislative leaders join us?”
“GE is vital to the Fairfield community, and the entire state, in many ways,” Kupchicksaid. “In addition to thousands of jobs, they spend over $14 billion with other businesses in Connecticut to support their operations. Those relationships impact over 65,000 supplier jobs across the state. Seeing GE leave would not only spell trouble for GE employees, perhaps even more damaging to the thousands of individuals who have jobs because of the business GE provides to other companies within our state. The majorities’ decisions are driving companies and jobs out.”
“The impact of GE’s charitable activity in our state and specifically Fairfield County is incredible,”said Devlin. “If they leave, I fear it will be hard to plug the hole left behind in many community programs and organizations like the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County. Their employees also provide thousands of hours of volunteer services. They are so much more than just a company to our local community.”
Lawmakers also emphasized the need for changes in the state budget to benefit all businesses as GE is only one of many companies considering leaving the state.
“The volatility created by Connecticut’s newly passed budget is more apparent now than ever,” said Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven). “Companies like GE are seriously considering moving out of state, jobs are in danger, and new cuts proposed by the governor will further hurt health care, social services, and many of the most vulnerable in our state. When GE CEO Jefferey Immelt was asked on CNBC whether GE would move from Connecticut, his response was telling of the far greater, big picture problem at hand. He said: ‘You want to be someplace where people support job creation, where it’s attractive to talent, good cost of living.’ The budget negotiated by Governor Malloy and legislative Democrats does not create that environment. Three months in, it has already failed as shown by the governor’s early rescissions. It’s time to do something about it. It’s time to create stability.”
“A special session to rethink this budget is needed to send a strong message to businesses, to communities, to families, that lawmakers are listening and we want to help create a better future for our state. We stand together today to renew our call to rethink a variety of the poor policies included in the state budget, and work together to create a state that embraces jobs and empowers people to thrive. This is about creating a better environment for all companies of all sizes, and creating an economy that supports all people,” said House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby).
Republicans were joined by Connecticut hospitals earlier this week in calling for a special session to revisit the budget after the governor announced a series of painful cuts that will hit hospitals hard, threatening the financial survival of many institutions and threatening the needs of the most vulnerable.
All Republicans voted against the state budget passed earlier this year.