CEOs Polled New legislation won't help Connecticut improve its ranking
The Hartford Courant
May 08, 2011
On top of higher taxes and everything else that makes Connecticut a hard place to do business, Democratic lawmakers at the state Capitol have introduced legislation to make it even harder.
They are pushing bills that would prevent employers from communicating with their employees and that would mandate paid sick leave even for struggling businesses that can't afford it. Either bill would further distress the business climate in a state that desperately looks for fair weather.
Connecticut without doubt has a great quality of life. But its anti-business climate is also well known. That bad reputation was ratified again in a recent survey of 550 business leaders produced by Chief Executive magazine.
Connecticut ranked in the bottom 10 — No. 44 — of all 50 states as a place to do business. That fits with its puny job-creating record in recent years. It's a bad time — while the recession still lingers — for the legislature to pile on business.
It would not be a business-friendly signal, for example, to enact legislation like the so-called captive audience bill. This measure forbids employers from calling mandatory company meetings to talk about workplace issues considered "political" by the General Assembly — such as wages, benefits, the health of the company and possible unionization.
Supporters of the captive audience bill say such meetings are coercive. But they don't have to be. Employers ought to have the right to speak to workers about issues pertinent to unionization without threatening them.
As for the bill requiring businesses with 50 or more workers to offer paid sick leave, many — perhaps most — companies have such policies. Many of those that don't can't afford them and shouldn't be made to provide them.
Lawmakers should say no to these pieces of jobs-killing legislation.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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