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January 19, 2023

CBIA details 2023 legislative agenda focused on workforce, lowering business costs

Contributed Connecticut Business & Industry Association President and CEO Chris DiPentima.

The Connecticut Business & Industry Association, the state’s largest business lobby, on Thursday announced its 2023  legislative agenda, which focuses on addressing Connecticut’s workforce shortage and making the state a more affordable place to live and work.

The agenda was unveiled at CBIA’s annual Economic Summit Outlook event at the Hartford Marriott Downtown.
“There are nearly 100,000 job openings in the state, while 85% of employers struggle with finding and retaining employees,” said CBIA CEO Chris DiPentima. “The jobs are here. What employers need are the workers to fill those jobs.”

CBIA’s policy proposals include: 

  • Reducing the number of years for transferability of out-of-state occupational licenses from three years to one year.
  • Determining the feasibility of public universities using H1-B cap exempt visas to promote workforce development, using the Massachusetts model as a guide for filling in-demand jobs (as recommended by the Governor’s Workforce Council’s strategic plan).
  • Reducing the cost of developing the workforce of the future by eliminating the sales tax on training programs.
  • Helping residents struggling with student loans by incentivizing employers to provide employees with loan or tuition reimbursement.
  • Incentivizing developers and municipalities to build workforce housing on former brownfield sites and in opportunity zones.
  • Make it easier for small businesses to access and provide affordable health insurance options for employees.
  • Promoting electric grid reliability and energy affordability by ramping up and optimizing the commercial and industrial energy storage solutions battery incentive program.
  • Restoring the pass-through entity tax credit to its original level, returning more than $53 million that struggling small businesses can use to invest and grow.
  • Promoting the development of new products and create a level playing field for small businesses by allowing them to take advantage of the R&D tax credit.
  • Preserving our efficient workers’ compensation system by encouraging prompt return to work and streamlining dispute resolutions, while providing fair benefits and high-quality care.
  • Making necessary investments in the state’s unemployment trust fund to address pandemic solvency issues and protect against future recessions.
  • Supporting economic growth and job creation by protecting intellectual property and promoting early- and midstage private and public investment in the life sciences and medical device sectors.
  • Incentivizing business investment by extending net operating loss carry forwards from 20 to 30 years.

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