State Reps. Jason Perillo and Ben McGorty and state Sen. Kevin Kelly met with business owners and professionals on Tuesday, Oct. 23, to discuss the impact of legislation that was passed during the 2019 session will have on their industries.

During the 2019 session, Shelton’s legislators said the majority party Democrats passed major anti-business bills, which included increasing the minimum wage to $15, implementing a payroll tax to fund paid family leave, raising the business filing fees and reducing the tax credit for pass-through entities.

The lawmakers explained that they wanted to host the forum to make businesses aware of what was passed and how to prepare for the new laws. They also urged businesses to be vocal about how policies discussed in Hartford will impact them and make their voices heard during the legislative session.

“Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Ned Lamont say they care about business owners, but this couldn't be further from the truth,” said Perillo. “These anti-business bills will cost businesses more money and could cause more to close their doors. Instead of asking businesses for more, we should be asking what we can do to make it easier for them to do business in our state.”

“We are one of the worst states in the nation to do business in, and this session the Democrats decided to pass more bills that will not get us out of the dead last rankings,” added McGorty. “I want to let businesses know Rep. Perillo, Sen. Kelly and I have their backs and will continue to fight for them in Hartford, but we also need their help in speaking out against these bills when they come before the legislature.”

Kelly said that every time Democratic lawmakers and the governor add new burdens on jobs, it becomes more difficult for our families to thrive.

“This year I worked to preserve core services and to successfully prevent many new taxes from being forced upon Connecticut residents,” said Kelly, “but Democrats in the majority still approved many policies and tax increases that will cause damage. We need to pass policies that allows Connecticut to grow and flourish by leveraging our strengths, not simply adding more burdens.”

When a business struggles, Kelly said, so do their workers, so do their families and so does the community.

“We cannot lose sight of that as we develop policies to pave a way to success and prosperity for our state and all residents,” added Kelly.

Business owners who attended the event expressed their frustrations that the state can’t balance their budget and continue to ask businesses small and large to pay more, the Repubican legislators said.

The Tax Foundation recently ranked Connecticut 47th out of 50 states as one of the worst business tax climates in the country.